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A portable surface-based polarimetric C-band scatterometer for field deployment over sea ice is presented. The scatterometer system, its calibration, signal processing, and near-field correction are described. The near-field correction is shown to be effective for both linear polarized and polarimetric backscatter. Field methods for the scatterometer are described. Sample linear polarized and polarimetric backscatter results are presented for snow-covered first-year sea ice (FYI), multiyear hummock ice, and rough melt pond water on FYI. The magnitude of backscatter signature variability due to system effects is presented, providing the necessary basis for quantitative analysis of field data.