Automated polarization characterization system

Hua Wei, J. Scott Tyo

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


There has been significant recent interest in the optimization of polarimeter systems, especially those designed for the remote sensing of polarization imagery, These studies have been motivated by a desire to improve the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) and the performance of the polarimeter in the presence of systematic calibration errors. These studies have been largely theoretical, and have not presented much experimental evidence of the theoretical predictions. In this paper, we present the design of an automated polarization characterization system that we use to test the theoretical hypothesis about the optimization of polarimeters. We present results here for rotating retarder polarimeters, and verify that quarter waveplates are not the optimum retarders to use in the presence of error and noise. Our results agree with predictions, but we find that the relative balance between noise and error is delicate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number58881M
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventPolarization Science and Remote Sensing II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2005Aug 4 2005


  • Infrared Polarimetry
  • Polarimetry
  • Polarization
  • Remote Sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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