Infrared polarimetry is an emerging sensing modality that offers the potential for significantly enhanced contrast in situations where conventional thermal imaging falls short. Polarimetric imagery leverages the different polarization signatures that result from material differences, surface roughness quality, and geometry that are frequently different from those features that lead to thermal signatures. Imaging of the polarization in a scene can lead to enhanced understanding, particularly when materials in a scene are at thermal equilibrium. Polaris Sensor Technologies has measured the polarization signatures of oil on water in a number of different scenarios and has shown significant improvement in detection through the contrast improvement offered by polarimetry. The sensing improvement offers the promise of automated detection of oil spills and leaks for routine monitoring and accidents with the added benefit of being able to continue monitoring at night. In this paper, we describe the instrumentation, and the results of several measurement exercises in both controlled and uncontrolled conditions.
David B. Chenault and Justin P. Vaden, "Infrared polarimetric sensing of oil on water," Proc. SPIE 10631, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring X, 106310E (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 17, 2018; Published: 25 May 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2307032.
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