The dual-rotating-retarder configuration is one of the most common forms of the Mueller matrix polarimeter. I perform an optimization of this polarimeter configuration by minimizing the condition number of the system data reduction matrix. I find the optimum retardance for the rotating retarders to be 127°. If exactly 16 intensity measurements are used for a Mueller matrix calculation, a complex relationship exists between the condition number and the sizes of the angular increments of the two retarders. If many intensity measurements are made, thus overspecifying the calculation, I find broad optimal ranges of angular increments of the two retarders that yield essentially equal performance. Experimental results are given.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 8, 2001
Revised Manuscript: January 2, 2002
Published: May 1, 2002
Matthew H. Smith, "Optimization of a dual-rotating-retarder Mueller matrix polarimeter," Appl. Opt. 41, 2488-2493 (2002)