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Polarization AberrationsThe analysis of the polarization characteristics displayed by optical systems can be divided into two categories: geometrical and physical. Geometrical analysis calculates the change in polarization of a wavefront between pupils in an optical instrument. Physical analysis propagates the polarized fields wherever the geometrical analysis is not valid, i.e., near the edges of stops, near images, in anisotropic media, etc. Polarization aberration theory provides a starting point for geometrical design and facilitates subsequent optimization. The polarization aberrations described arise from differences in the transmitted (or reflected) amplitudes and phases at interfaces. The polarization aberration matrix (PAM) is calculated for isotropic rotationally symmetric systems through fourth order and includes the interface phase, amplitude, linear diattenuation, and linear retardance aberrations. The exponential form of Jones matrices used are discussed. The PAM in Jones matrix is introduced. The exact calculation of polarization aberrations through polarization ray tracing is described. The report is divided into three sections: I. Rotationally Symmetric Optical Systems; II. Tilted and Decentered Optical Systems; and Polarization Analysis of LIDARs.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Mcguire, James P., Jr. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Chipman, Russell A. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
August 16, 1990
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:184218
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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