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Proceedings Paper

Polarimetric impulse response and polarimetric transfer function for time-sequential polarimeters
Author(s): Russell A. Chipman
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Paper Abstract

An analysis of polarimetric measurements in the presence of noise is presented with emphasis on rotating polarizer polarimeters. A method is presented for estimating the error bars associated with a polarization measurement of an object whose intensity is rapidly fluctuating in a noisy manner. The method requires knowledge of the power spectral density of the intensity fluctuation, and uses this information combined with the sequence of polarizing element settings and measurement times to determine the error bar estimate. The rotating polarizer polarimeter is used as an example of this technique. A relationship is established between the power spectrum of the source intensity fluctuations and the error bars associated with measurements of the Stokes vector elements. The impulse response and transfer function of a polarimetric measurement and data reduction sequence are introduced. The analytical tools presented here will assist in designing polarimeters with specified accuracies for demanding roles, such as measuring polarization signatures in rapidly moving or fluctuating scenarios. It is recommended that for rotating polarizer polarimeters, the polarizer rotates through a minimum of 360o because image nutation from wedged polarizers and linear drift couple strongly into the fundamental frequency of the discrete Fourier transform. The optimum rotating polarizer angle settings for many applications is the eight angle sequence: 0°,45°, 90°, 135°, 180°, 225°, 270°, 315°.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1990
PDF: 19 pages
Proc. SPIE 1317, Polarimetry: Radar, Infrared, Visible, Ultraviolet, and X-Ray, (1 October 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.22060
Show Author Affiliations
Russell A. Chipman, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1317:
Polarimetry: Radar, Infrared, Visible, Ultraviolet, and X-Ray
Russell A. Chipman; John W. Morris, Editor(s)

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