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Proceedings Paper

Full-order Mueller matrix polarimeter using liquid-crystal phase retarders and active illumination
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Paper Abstract

Full order Stokes polarimeters are often composed of an analyzer consisting of a rotating quarter wave plate in front of a horizontal polarizer. A number of measurements are then made with the wave-plate oriented at different angle. The four-element Stokes vector is then computed from a linear combination of these measurements. A disadvantage of this device is that only a limited range of analyzer states can be generated. As a result a large number of measurements may be required to reduce the noise gain in the Stokes vector reconstructor. In this paper we describe a polarimeter based on a linear polarizer and two variable wave plates. It can be shown that such a device can produce an arbitrary polarization state. An active polarimeter consists of a generator stage, which transmits a laser illuminator with different polarization states and a receiver with a polarization analyzer stage. In our system both generator and analyzer stages consist of a horizontal polarizer and two variable wave-plates. A sixteen element Mueller matrix of resolved images is then formed for target characterization.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 March 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4884, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems V, (20 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.462446
Show Author Affiliations
David Charles Dayton, Applied Technology Associates (United States)
Brian G. Hoover, Applied Technology Associates (United States)
John D. Gonglewski, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4884:
Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems V
Anton Kohnle; John D. Gonglewski, Editor(s)

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