We describe a method for increasing target contrast within a turbid medium by means of the polarization state of the scattered light. The backscattered Mueller matrices for various concentrations of 0.1-µm spherical scatterers were measured with and without a painted metal target. Simple discrimination based on detecting cross-polarized intensities is shown to be more effective than the use of total intensity information. As a result, the choice of polarization state is dictated primarily by the requirement to maximize depolarization at the target. This in general means that circularly polarized light is the optimum choice.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 19, 1999
Revised Manuscript: March 19, 1999
Published: June 20, 1999
Gareth D. Lewis, David L. Jordan, and P. John Roberts, "Backscattering target detection in a turbid medium by polarization discrimination," Appl. Opt. 38, 3937-3944 (1999)