Imaging Systems

Microbolometer-infrared imaging Stokes polarimeter

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael W. Kudenov

The University of Arizona,College of Optical Sciences, 1630 East University Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona 85721

J. Larry Pezzaniti

Polaris Sensor Technologies,200 West Court Square Suite 320, Huntsville, Alabama 35801

Grant R. Gerhart

United States Army,Tank-Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, Research, Development and Engineering Command, AMSRD-TAR/MS 263, 6501 East 11 Mile Road, Warren, Michigan 48397-5000

Opt. Eng. 48(6), 063201 (June 23, 2009). doi:10.1117/1.3156844
History: Received November 26, 2008; Revised May 05, 2009; Accepted May 06, 2009; Published June 23, 2009
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A long-wave infrared division of amplitude imaging Stokes polarimeter is presented. For the first time, to our knowledge, application of microbolometer focal plane array (FPA) technology to polarimetry is demonstrated. The sensor utilizes a wire-grid beamsplitter with imaging systems positioned at each output to analyze two orthogonal linear polarization states simultaneously. Combined with a form birefringent wave plate, the system is capable of snapshot imaging polarimetry in any one Stokes parameter (S1, S2, or S3). Radiometric and polarimetric calibration procedures for the instrument are provided, and the reduction matrices from the calibration are compared to rigorous coupled wave analysis and ray-tracing simulations. Image registration techniques for the sensor are discussed, and data from the instrument are presented, demonstrating the ability to measure intensity variations corresponding to polarized emission in natural environments. As such, emission polarimetry can be exploited at significantly reduced cost, sensor size, and power consumption over instruments based on more expensive mercury-cadmium telluride FPAs.

© 2009 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers


Michael W. Kudenov ; J. Larry Pezzaniti and Grant R. Gerhart
"Microbolometer-infrared imaging Stokes polarimeter", Opt. Eng. 48(6), 063201 (June 23, 2009). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3156844

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