Low polarization optical system design

Anna Britt Mahler, Paula K. Smith, Russell A. Chipman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


Polarization-sensitive optical systems include those requiring very accurate irradiance measurements and those where polarization is the intended measurement. Low-polarization optical system design is the process of minimizing system polarization introduced by surface geometry, thin film coatings and birefringent elements, and measuring system components to verify polarization performance. The complicated, multi-step, iterative low polarization optical system design process requires initial system design, witness sample fabrication and measurement, reverse engineering of fabricated coatings and coating redesign, end-to-end system polarization aberration analysis, and system measurement and calibration. Most of this process will be spent iterating between design and measurement phases until a final design is reached that can be fabricated and calibrated to perform within the desired system tolerances. This work discusses low polarization optical system design using a three-mirror off-axis camera as an example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolarization Science and Remote Sensing III
StatePublished - 2007
EventPolarization Science and Remote Sensing III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 29 2007Aug 30 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherPolarization Science and Remote Sensing III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Diattenuation
  • High reflectance
  • Low polarization
  • Polarization aberration
  • Retardance
  • Thin film coatings

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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