Technical Publications

Bistatic Laser Polarimeter Calibrated to 1% at Visible-SWIR Wavelengths



This paper documents the accuracy and precision of the U. S. Air Force Research Laboratory APCL laser polarimeter in arbitrary bistatic geometries at the three laser wavelengths 633nm, 1064nm, and 1550nm. The difference between measured and theoretical-truth Mueller matrices of calibration components is used as the calibration metric and justified relative to block ellipsometer calibration methods. Calibration of the polarimeter ellipsometry mode is demonstrated first, at quasi-monostatic and large bistatic angles, employing a metallic mirror and a dielectric window as the calibration component, respectively, the latter in order to avoid uncertainty in the retardance of typical metallic mirrors at large incident angles. This uncertainty is demonstrated in measurements of COTS protected-silver mirrors from two vendors, revealing an approximately λ/8 retardance difference, for reflection through 90°, between nominally-identical mirrors from the two vendors. Polarimeter calibration is finally extended beyond ellipsometry by calibrating depolarization measurements using a new technique employing ensembles of polarized states as calibration components.

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