Polaris-M Software

Polaris-M provides the most complete polarization design platform available today.

Polaris-M is an optical design and polarization analysis program provided by Airy Optics, Inc. Polaris-M joins ray tracing-based optical design methods with polarization calculus, 3D simulation, anisotropic materials, diffractive optic simulation, stress birefringence, and diffraction theory.

Polaris-M was developed at the Polarization Laboratory at the University of Arizona over the last ten years and licensed in 2016 to Airy Optics Inc.

Polaris-M includes over 500 functions for the following: ray tracing, aberration calculation, polarization elements, stress birefringence, diffractive optical elements, and polarization ray tracing calculus, and liquid crystal cells and optical elements.


The M in the name Polaris-M stands for Mathematica, the all-encompassing mathematics software from Wolfram Research. Polaris-M requires Mathematica. Polaris-M is tightly integrated with Mathematica, which together provides a powerful macro language for optical design and deep set of algorithms for graphics, computer algebra, interpolation, neural networks, numerical analysis, etc.

Polaris-M Documentation

Polaris-M commands are fully documented. Press the key F1 on any Polaris-M command and an active help page opens, explaining the inputs and outputs, and supplying live examples of the command. Examples can be cut and pasted into the users work and modified.

The textbook “Polarized Light and Optical Systems” by our founder, University of Arizona Professor Russell Chipman provides detailed background on the polarization optical engineering methods used in Polaris-M.

Polaris-M integrates with Axometrics Mueller matrix polarimeters to import and ray trace with measured data. Polaris-M will import many Code V sequence files for interchangeability between programs.


Polaris-M contains many databases to speed product development and analysis

Thin film catalogs for antireflection, reflection enhancing, and beamsplitter coatings

Crystal polarizer, retarder, and device models

Lens catalogs for visible and infrared lenses, telescopes, and microscopes

Glass catalogs

Crystal and anisotropic material refractive index databases

Jones and Mueller matrices

Sheet polarizer and retarder measured data

Polaris-M 2.0!

Polaris-M has been in intensive development at Airy Optics to deepen its capabilities and provide ease of use. This culminated in the release of Polaris-M 2.0 in August 2018 adding a graphical user interface (GUI), new paraxial capabilities, and tolerancing. Our development team is constantly adding advanced features for our customers.

Training + Support

Polaris-M tech support and polarization design advice is available by phone and email from our support group.

Airy Optics provides monthly Polaris-M training courses at all levels including the following training programs. Russell Chipman also teaches a SPIE short course “Polarized Light and Optical Systems”.