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The quality of polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) imagery and its polarimetric decompositions depends on the accuracy of polarimetric observations of the SAR system and its calibration. Polarization distortions on the polarimetric measurement can be incurred due to nonideal system polarization quality and propagation factors, such as channel imbalance, crosstalk, and Faraday rotation at lower frequencies. All these distortions have varying impacts on different target types as well as different decomposition methods. In this paper, we assess the polarization quality of the PolSAR system in the context of polarimetric imagery analysis and quantify the various effects of polarization distortions on polarization target decompositions. A generic metric is defined to measure the polarization purity of the system. Considering the fact that target decomposition plays an important role in imagery analysis, we apply several widely used decomposition methods to showcase the polarimetric system requirement based on the defined metric. We demonstrate that this metric can be used for radar system design and polarimetric data calibration.