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In this paper, a new and improved L-band version of the correlated noise calibration standard (CNCS) has been developed to aid in the characterization of polarimetric microwave radiometers. The CNCS generates a series of known polarimetric test signals using a two-channel commercial arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) and a pair of frequency-upconversion modules. When it is inserted in place of the antenna used by a radiometer-under-test (RUT), it can fully characterize the polarimetric response of the receiver portion of the RUT. Both hardware and software improvements have been made over a previous version of the CNCS. The frequency upconverters now include integral warm and cold calibration-reference targets to automatically compensate for small drifts in AWG output-signal strength. The procedure used to calibrate the RUT has been generalized to correct for nonideal characteristics of the CNCS itself. Moreover, the effects on the derived polarimetric gain matrix of impedance mismatches between the RUT, and either the CNCS or the antenna have been determined. Details of the CNCS improvements are presented. The results of an experimental demonstration of its use and of a series of validation tests of its performance are also presented.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:46 , Issue: 10 )
Date of Publication: Oct. 2008