Abstract

The induced polarization effects of metal-coated mirrors were studied in the configurations of one- and two-mirror lidar scanners as a function of azimuth and elevation angles. The theoretical results were verified experimentally for three types of mirrors (custom enhanced gold, off-the-shelf protected gold, and protected aluminum). A method was devised and tested to maintain a desired polarization state (linear or circular) of the transmit beam for all pointing directions by means of rotating wave plates in the transmit and detection paths. Alternatively, the mirror coating can be optimized to preserve the linear polarization state of the transmitted beam. The compensation methods will enable ground-based scanning lidars to produce absolutely calibrated depolarization measurements.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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