Spectrally varying long-wave infrared (LWIR) polarization measurements can be used to identify materials and to discriminate samples from a cluttered background. Two LWIR instruments have been built and fielded by the Air Force Research Laboratory: a multispectral LWIR imaging polarimeter (LIP) and a full-Stokes Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectral polarimeter (FSP), constructed for higher spectral resolution measurements of materials. These two instruments have been built to gain an understanding of the polarization signatures expected from different types of materials in a controlled laboratory and in varying field environments. We discuss the instruments, calibration methods, general operation, and measurements characterizing the emitted polarization properties of materials as a function of wavelength. The results show that we are able to make polarization measurements with a relative accuracy of 0.5% degree of polarization (DOP) between two different instruments that are calibrated with the same techniques, and that these measurements can improve the understanding of polarization phenomenology. © 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.