5 June 2013 Range and contrast imaging improvements using circularly polarized light in scattering environments
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Abstract
We find for infrared wavelengths there are clear particle size ranges and indices representative of fog and rain where the use of circular polarization imaging can penetrate to larger optical depths than linear polarization. Using polarization tracking Monte Carlo simulations for varying particle size, wavelength, and index systematically, we show that for specific scene parameters circular polarization vastly outperforms linear polarization in maintaining degree of polarization for large optical depths in transmission and reflection. This enhancement in circular polarization can be exploited to improve imaging in obscurant environments that are important in many critical imaging applications. Specifically, circular polarization performs better than linear for radiation fog in the SWIR and MWIR regime, advection fog in the LWIR regime, and small sized particles of Sahara dust in the MWIR regime.
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J. D. van der Laan, D. A. Scrymgeour, S. A. Kemme, E. L. Dereniak, "Range and contrast imaging improvements using circularly polarized light in scattering environments", Proc. SPIE 8706, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXIV, 87060R (5 June 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2015874; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2015874
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