Abstract

The direct, instantaneous measurement of the Stokes parameters of optical radiation is not possible using only a single detector. To infer the Stokes parameters in an image, the optical intensity must be modulated in time, space, or spectral characteristics and multiple measurements must be made on a pixel-by-pixel basis across the scene. Most existing imaging polarimetry strategies generally suffer from either spatial or temporal misregistration. Those strategies that do not suffer from misregistration have severe restrictions placed on the spectral properties of the illumination and/or optical system. A hybrid polarimeter is proposed that can be used for broadband imaging applications that, in principle, can be made without any temporal or spatial misalignment and that does not require detailed knowledge of the spectral properties of the radiation. The strategy uses arrays of microlenses and micropolarizers to create a high-resolution spatial array of nonimaging division of aperture polarimeters.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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