Within the general framework of active imaging we address the degree of polarization (DOP) estimation in the presence of additive Gaussian detector noise. We first study the performance of standard DOP estimators and propose a method to increase estimation precision using physically relevant a priori information. We then consider the realistic case of nonuniform illumination distribution. We derive the Cramer–Rao lower bound and determine a profile likelihood-based estimator. We demonstrate the efficiency of this new estimator and compare its performance with other standard estimators as a function of the degree of nonuniformity of the illumination.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
(030.4280) Coherence and statistical optics : Noise in imaging systems
Original Manuscript: August 24, 2007
Revised Manuscript: January 25, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: January 31, 2008
Published: March 24, 2008
Arnaud Bénière, François Goudail, Mehdi Alouini, and Daniel Dolfi, "Degree of polarization estimation in the presence of nonuniform illumination and additive Gaussian noise," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 919-929 (2008)