We present a degree of polarization imaging system based on a Wollaston prism and a single CCD camera. This architecture eliminates technical inaccuracies and noise sources that are present in experimental setups containing a polarization switching element. After the acquisition of two images corresponding to two orthogonal states of polarization, one can compute the orthogonal state contrast image (OSCI), which is an estimate of the local degree of polarization of the backscattered light when the observed materials are purely depolarizing. The instrument design coupled to an efficient calibration enables the estimation of the OSCI from a single image acquisition and significant reduction of technical noise present in other polarization imaging systems. The setup was tested in realistic conditions where it represents a real asset.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 3, 2009
Revised Manuscript: July 13, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: September 24, 2009
Published: October 14, 2009
Arnaud Bénière, Mehdi Alouini, François Goudail, and Daniel Dolfi, "Design and experimental validation of a snapshot polarization contrast imager," Appl. Opt. 48, 5764-5773 (2009)