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8 April 2003 Earth observation system incorporating an LCTF spectropolarimeter
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There is an emerging demand for remote sensing technologies that can determine the surface characteristics of objects from the properties of reflected light. In particular, hyperspectral analysis of solar rays reflected from the Earth's surface is expected to play an increasingly important role in Earth environment observation. The National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) has developed a new type of imaging spectropolarimeter for such analysis that uses a liquid crystal tunable filter (LCTF), and efforts are now under way to develop it into a practical aircraft or spacecraft on-board sensor system for Earth environment sensing. This paper first presents the concept and architecture of an Earth observation system using an LCTF optical sensor which can sense radiation in the 400-720 nm wavelength band. The results of laboratory experiments to evaluate the performance characteristics of the observation system, e.g. hyperspectral resolution, optional selection of the plane of polarization, etc. are then presented, and the results of preliminary image acquisition experiments that demonstrate the feasibility of acquiring of spectral images is also shown. Finally, the applicability of the LCTF spectropolarimeter to Earth observation is summarized based on the results of the laboratory and field evaluation experiments.
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Hirokimi Shingu, Hirohisa Kurosaki, Kohzo Homma, Takao Suzuki, and Hiromichi Yamamoto "Earth observation system incorporating an LCTF spectropolarimeter", Proc. SPIE 4881, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites VI, (8 April 2003);

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