In polarimetric imaging systems, the main source of perturbations may not be detection noise but fluctuations of the Mueller matrices in the scene. In this case, we propose a method for determining the illumination and analysis polarization states that allow reaching the highest target detection performance. We show with simulations and real-world images that, in practical applications, the statistics of Mueller matrix fluctuations have to be taken into account to optimize polarimetric imagery.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
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