Polarimetric target detection in the presence of spatially fluctuating Mueller matrices.

Laboratoire Charles Fabry, UMR 8501, Institut d’Optique, CNRS, Université Paris Sud 11, 91127 Palaiseau, France.
Optics Letters (Impact Factor: 3.39). 12/2011; 36(23):4590-2. DOI: 10.1364/OL.36.004590
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In polarimetric imaging systems, the main source of perturbations may not be detection noise but fluctuations of the Mueller matrices in the scene. In this case, we propose a method for determining the illumination and analysis polarization states that allow reaching the highest target detection performance. We show with simulations and real-world images that, in practical applications, the statistics of Mueller matrix fluctuations have to be taken into account to optimize polarimetric imagery.