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25 October 1999 Thermal emission polarization
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Abstract
Existing polarization-based image understanding techniques use information only from reflected light. Apart form incandescent bodies thermally emitted light radiation from elements of a scene in the visible spectrum is insignificant. However, at longer wavelengths such as in the IR thermal emission is typically quite prevalent form a number of scene elements of interest. FLIR imagery of both indoor and outdoor scenes reveals that many objects thermally emit a significant amount of radiation. Polarization from thermally emitting objects has been observed as long as 170 years ago from incandescent objects but since then there have only ben a limited number of empirical investigations into this phenomenon. This paper present a comprehensive model for explaining polarization of thermal emission from both rough and smooth surfaces, in agreement with empirical data, that can significantly enhance the image understanding of FLIR imagery. In particular it is possible to discern metal from dielectric materials under certain conditions, and from an accurate model for thermally emitted polarization it is possible to predictively model polarization signatures form CAD models of importance to automatic target recognition.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Lawrence B. Wolff, Andrew Lundberg, and Renjie Tang "Thermal emission polarization", Proc. SPIE 3754, Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing II, (25 October 1999); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.366318
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