Abstract

Within the general framework of active imaging we address the degree of polarization (DOP) estimation in the presence of additive Gaussian detector noise. We first study the performance of standard DOP estimators and propose a method to increase estimation precision using physically relevant a priori information. We then consider the realistic case of nonuniform illumination distribution. We derive the Cramer–Rao lower bound and determine a profile likelihood-based estimator. We demonstrate the efficiency of this new estimator and compare its performance with other standard estimators as a function of the degree of nonuniformity of the illumination.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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