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Opt Express. 2004 Dec 27;12(26):6559-73.

Realization of quantitative-grade fieldable snapshot imaging spectropolarimeter.


We discuss achievement of a long-standing technology goal: the first practical realization of a quantitative-grade, field-worthy snapshot imaging spectropolarimeter. The instrument employs Polarimetric Spectral Intensity Modulation (PSIM), a technique that enables full Stokes instantaneous "snapshot" spectropolarimetry with perfect channel registration. This is achieved with conventional single beam optics and a single focal plane array (FPA). Simultaneity and perfect registration are obtained by encoding the polarimetry onto the spectrum via a novel optical arrangement which enables sensing from moving platforms against dynamic scenes. PSIM is feasible across the electro-optical sensing range (UV-LWIR). We present measurement results from a prototype sensor that operates in the visible and near infrared regime (450-900 nm). We discuss in some detail the calibration and Stokes spectrum inversion algorithms that are presently achieving 0.5% polarimetric accuracy.

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