We compare the performances of three different polarimetric imaging modalities, scalar, Stokes, and Mueller, in terms of achievable contrast for target detection applications. These modalities require, respectively, 1, 4, and 16 intensity measurements to form the polarimetric image. We show that the technique that leads to the best contrast is the scalar one, which requires only one optimized measurement.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 17, 2010
Revised Manuscript: July 6, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: July 6, 2010
Published: July 27, 2010
François Goudail, "Comparison of maximal achievable contrast in scalar, Stokes, and Mueller images," Opt. Lett. 35, 2600-2602 (2010)