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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 3 — Feb. 4, 2008
  • pp: 2091–2108

Noise reduction in a laser polarimeter based on discrete waveplate rotations

Israel J. Vaughn and Brian G. Hoover  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 3, pp. 2091-2108 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.16.002091


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Abstract

While several analyses of polarimeter noise-reduction have been published, little data has been presented to support the analytical results, particularly for a laser polarimeter based on measurements taken at discrete, independent rotation angles of two birefringent waveplates. This paper derives and experimentally demonstrates the reduction of both system and speckle noise in this type of laser polarimeter, achieved by optimizing the rotation angles of the waveplates by minimizing the condition numbers of the appropriate matrix equation. Results are demonstrated experimentally in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) variations for a range of materials and spatial bandwidths. Use of optimal waveplate angles is found to improve the average SNR of the normalized Mueller matrix over speckle by a factor of up to 8 for a non-depolarizing material, but to provide little improvement for a depolarizing material. In the limit of zero spatial bandwidth, the average SNR of the normalized Mueller matrix over speckle is found to be greater than one for a non-depolarizing material and less than one for a depolarizing material.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.6140) Coherence and statistical optics : Speckle
(120.0280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Remote sensing and sensors
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

History
Original Manuscript: December 17, 2007
Revised Manuscript: January 16, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: January 17, 2008
Published: January 30, 2008

Citation
Israel J. Vaughn and Brian G. Hoover, "Noise reduction in a laser polarimeter based on discrete waveplate rotations," Opt. Express 16, 2091-2108 (2008)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-16-3-2091


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