Abstract

This paper proposes a spectropolarimetric detection method based on three photoelastic modulators (3PEMs) and an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF). Operating the 3PEMs at slightly resonant frequencies (ω1,ω2,ω3) generates a different frequency signal that modulates the polarized component of the incident light at a low-frequency (0, 2ω12ω3, ω2ω3). The frequency of the low-frequency modulation component is two to three orders of magnitude lower than the resonant frequency of any of the 3PEMs so the general area array detector can realize the detection. I, Q, and U of the incident light’s Stokes parameters can be obtained in only one detection by extracting the low-frequency component from the detector’s signals, and then combining it with an AOTF to finally realize the spectropolarimetric imaging detection. The paper introduces the basic principle, preliminarily verifies feasibility through a corresponding numerical simulation and experiment, and makes an error analysis on the polarization detection results according to factors of difference frequency and phase delay amplitude. The theory has potential application value to spectropolarimetric technology.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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