Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
Research article
31 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 31 Aug 2016

About the effects of polarising optics on lidar signals and the Δ90 calibration

Volker Freudenthaler

Abstract. This paper provides a model for assessing the effects of polarising optics on the signals of typical lidar systems, which is based on the description of the individual optical elements of the lidar and of the state of polarisation of the light by means of the Müller–Stokes formalism. General analytical equations are derived for the dependence of the lidar signals on polarisation parameters, for the linear depolarisation ratio, and for the signals of different polarisation calibration setups. The equations can also be used for the calculation of systematic errors caused by nonideal optical elements, their rotational misalignment, and by non-ideal laser polarisation. We present the description of the lidar signals including the polarisation calibration in a closed form, which can be applied for a large variety of lidar systems.