13 October 2005 Active Wollaston polarimetry
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Abstract
Active imaging polarimetry is a unique imaging technique in which a particular scene of interest is illuminated by a laser source with a known polarization state. Changes in the state of polarization of the received light yields information beyond what is available in conventional intensity imaging. This approach has an advantage over passive polarimetry in that one has control over the polarization state of the illumination with the potential of determining all sixteen elements of the associated Mueller matrix. While determining the entire Mueller matrix is the most comprehensive method for describing the polarization changing properties of the scene, for most cases it does not yield significantly more information than simply determining the 4 diagonal elements of the Mueller matrix. The Active Wollaston Polarimeter is based around the ability of the Wollaston prism to split orthogonal polarization states into two beams propagating at slightly different angles allowing two images to be formed on a single camera. The Wollaston prism, combined with a series of liquid crystal variable retarders allows monopulse determination of any polarization contrast image (PCI), which is directly related to a specific Muller matrix element. This technique results in a fast, compact polarization measurement system. This paper presents the continued investigation and analysis of the performance of the polarimeter and possible viability as a practical polarization measurement system.
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R. M. Neal, R. M. Neal, David Dayton, David Dayton, John Gonglewski, John Gonglewski, } "Active Wollaston polarimetry", Proc. SPIE 5981, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems VIII, 59810K (13 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.631366; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.631366
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