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We present a novel light detection and ranging (LiDAR) polarimeter that enables measurement of 12 of 16 sample Mueller matrix elements in a single, 10 ns pulse. The new polarization state generator (PSG) leverages Kerr phase modulation in a birefringent optical fiber, creating a probe pulse characterized by temporally varying polarization. Theoretical expressions for the Polarization State Generator (PSG) Stokes vector are derived for birefringent walk-off and no walk-off and incorporated into a time-dependent polarimeter signal model employing multiple polarization state analyzers (PSA). Polarimeter modeling compares the Kerr effect and electro-optic phase modulator–based PSG using a single Polarization State Analyzer (PSA) and a scattering sample yielding similarly good performance for both. We include results from an experimental demonstration of the Kerr effect PSG.


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Optics Express