Abstract

Channeled polarimeters measure polarization by modulating the measured intensity in order to create polarization-dependent channels that can be demodulated to reveal the desired polarization information. A number of channeled systems have been described in the past, but their proposed designs often unintentionally sacrifice optimality for ease of algebraic reconstruction. To obtain more optimal systems, a generalized treatment of channeled polarimeters is required. This paper describes methods that enable handling of multi-domain modulations and reconstruction of polarization information using linear algebra. We make practical choices regarding use of either Fourier or direct channels to make these methods more immediately useful. Employing the introduced concepts to optimize existing systems often results in superficial system changes, like changing the order, orientation, thickness, or spacing of polarization elements. For the two examples we consider, we were able to reduce noise in the reconstruction to 34.1% and 57.9% of the original design values.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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