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Sun, JQ, Xiong, XX (2007). MODIS polarization-sensitivity analysis. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 45(9), 2875-2885.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is one of the primary instruments in the Earth Observing System (EOS). Currently, MODIS instruments are onboard the NASA EOS Terra and Aqua spacecraft launched in December 1999 and May 2002, respectively. The MODIS reflective solar bands (RSBs) are sensitive to the polarization of incident light, particularly for the visible bands. To derive accurate top-of-the-atmosphere radiances, it is essential to know the polarization sensitivity, characterized by a polarization factor and phase angle, of the instruments. From prelaunch polarization sensitivity measurements, the polarization factors and phase angles for all visible and near-infrared bands of both instruments are derived, analyzed, and compared. The polarization factors are wavelength, angle of incidence on the MODIS scan mirror, and detector-dependent. For Terra MODIS, they are also mirrorside-dependent. The 412-nm band has the largest polarization factor, which is about 0.04 for both instruments. The polarization factors of all other bands are either smaller than or close to 0.02, which is the polarization requirement for the MODIS RSB whose wavelengths are longer than 412 nm. The unexpected one-, three-, and four-cycle anomalies observed in the measurements are analyzed. These anomalies are shown to be likely due to the nonuniformity of the light source and the retro-reflected light from the MODIS optical system. Their impacts on the derived polarization parameters are estimated and discussed.



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