Abstract

We calculate the photometric Stokes parameter covariance matrices and SNRs estimated by polarimeters exposed to general noise distributions, such as mixed Poisson–Gaussian (PG) noise. The measurement model includes the effects of optical losses and detector quantum efficiency, enabling quantitative comparison of instruments that have different photometric efficiencies. We demonstrate this capability by comparing the performance of many common polarimeter configurations, including diattenuator-based systems, such as Azzam’s four-detector polarimeter [Opt. Lett. 10, 309 (1985) [CrossRef]  ] and Kudenov’s stacked photovoltaic polarimeter [Opt. Express 24, 14737 (2016) [CrossRef]  ]. Working with the full covariance matrix under mixed PG noise, we also show that instruments optimized under assumptions of Gaussian noise simultaneously exhibit optimal behavior under Poisson noise.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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Corrections

Nathan Hagen, Tingkui Mu, and Yukitoshi Otani, "Stokes polarimeter performance: general noise model and analysis: erratum," Appl. Opt. 57, 6998-6998 (2018)
https://www.osapublishing.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-57-24-6998

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Supplementary Material (1)

NameDescription
» Code 1       Python code for covariance matrix calculations.

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