Polarization, flux, and the spectral energy distribution of light are the fundamental parameters that we measure in order
to infer properties of the sources of electromagnetic radiation, such as intensity, temperature, chemical composition and
physical geometry. Recently, the fabrication of microgrid polarizer arrays (MPAs) facilitated the development of a new
class of division-of-focal plane polarimeters. These devices are capable of measuring the degree and angle of
polarization across a scene with a single exposure.
We present the design of the Rochester Institute of Technology Polarization Imaging Camera (RITPIC), a snapshot
polarimeter for visible and near-infrared remote sensing applications. RITPIC is a compact, light-weight and
mechanically robust imaging polarimeter that is deployable on terrestrial, naval, airborne and space-based platforms.
RITPIC is developed using commercially available components and is capable of fast cadence imaging polarimetry of a
wide variety of scenes. We derive the expected performance of RITPIC using the first high resolution 3D finite-difference
time-domain (FDTD) models of these hybrid focal planes and simulated observations of synthetic scenes
rendered with the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Image Generation (DIRSIG) model. Furthermore, we explore
applications in remote sensing for which RITPIC, and devices like it, provide unique advantages.