Abstract: Polarimeters have broad applications in remote sensing, astronomy, and biomedical imaging to measure a scene’s polarization state. An intrinsic coincident (IC) full-Stokes polarimeter was previously demonstrated and optimized to achieve high temporal and spatial resolution. We optimized the IC polarimeter by introducing additional waveplates or measurement channels and compared it with existing polarimeter architectures under signal-independent Gaussian noise and signal-dependent Poisson noise. The quantitative comparison of noise variances showed that the IC and division-of-amplitude polarimeters have the lowest noise variances due to their higher signal collection ability. Both polarimeters have a factor of 2 and 2 improved signal-to-noise ratio, in the S0 component, for Gaussian and Poisson noises, respectively, as compared to division of time, division of focal plane, and division of aperture polarimeters. While the division of amplitude and IC polarimeters outperforms other approaches, the IC polarimeter has a significantly simpler design, potentially allowing for cost-effective, high-performance polarimetric imaging.
R. Yang, P. Sen, B. T. O’Connor, and M. W. Kudenov, “Optimization of an intrinsic coincident polarimeter and quantitative architectural comparison of different polarimeter techniques,” OE 59(2), 024111 (2020).