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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 23 — Nov. 9, 2009
  • pp: 21240–21249

Stokes polarimeter optimization in the presence of shot and Gaussian noise

David Lara and Carl Paterson  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 23, pp. 21240-21249 (2009)

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An error minimization method is presented for Stokes polarimeters applicable when the detected signals are affected by a combination of shot and Gaussian noise. The expectation of the Stokes vector variance is used as a performance measure. This measure is compared with the condition number of a polarization state analyzer matrix that is commonly used as a figure of merit. We show that a polarimeter with the minimum condition number is not necessarily optimal. The approach is used to optimize existing prism based polarimeters giving improvements in the performance when shot-noise cannot be neglected.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.4280) Coherence and statistical optics : Noise in imaging systems
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: September 21, 2009
Revised Manuscript: October 20, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: October 22, 2009
Published: November 6, 2009

David Lara and Carl Paterson, "Stokes polarimeter optimization in the presence of shot and gaussian noise," Opt. Express 17, 21240-21249 (2009)

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