Abstract de la publi numéro 10591

This paper addresses the problem of estimating the polarization degree of polarimetric images in coherent illumination. It has been recently shown that the degree of polarization associated to polarimetric images can be estimated by the method of moments applied to two or four images assuming fully developed speckle. This paper shows that the estimation can also be conducted by using maximum likelihood methods. The maximum likelihood estimators of the polarization degree are derived from the joint distribution of the image intensities. We show that the joint distribution of polarimetric images is a multivariate gamma distribution whose marginals are univariate, bivariate or trivariate gamma distributions. This property is used to derive maximum likelihood estimators of the polarization degree using two, three or four images. The proposed estimators provide better performance that the estimators of moments. These results are illustrated by estimations conducted on synthetic and real images.