We report a study and comparison of continuous-wave, optical polarization
difference imaging (PDI) and polarization modulation imaging (PMI) for
imaging through scattering media. The problem is cast in the
framework of a theoretical estimation, and the comparison is based on three visualization
parameters, namely, the magnitude, the degree, and the orientation of the polarization.
We show that PDI is superior in estimating the first two parameters
in active imaging under specific conditions, while the PMI is suitable for
passive imaging and is the only way to estimate polarization orientation. We
also propose new schemes for rendering polarization information as a color
image and for applying the newly introduced polarization-orientation imaging
for segmentation. Simulation and experimental results verify the theoretical
© 2006 Optical Society of America
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