ARMY ELECTRONICS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND FORT MONMOUTH NJ ELECTRONIC WARFARE LAB
A four-channel polarimeter can be used to determine the polarization characteristics of optical components, systems, and other related phenomena. While the primary purpose of the four-channel configuration is to measure the four Stokes polarization parameters in a nanosecond duration, there is an additional benefit to the design. This is shown by illuminating an optical system with right circularly polarized light or linearly 45 deg polarized light. Each of the measured Stokes parameters is then equal to one of the unknown A, B, C, D matrix elements. In many situations of military interest this property could be invaluable.