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22 April 2009 A new passive polarimetric imaging system collecting polarization signatures in the visible and infrared bands
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Electro-optical imaging systems are frequently employed during surveillance operations and search and rescue missions to detect various targets of interest in both the civilian and military communities. By incorporating the polarization of light as supplementary information to such electro-optical imaging systems, it may be possible to increase the target discrimination performance considering that man-made objects are known to depolarize light in different manners than natural backgrounds. Consequently, many passive Stokes-vector imagers have been developed over the years. These sensors generally operate using one single spectral band at a time, which limits considerably the polarization information collected across a scene over a predefined specific spectral range. In order to improve the understanding of the phenomena that arise in polarimetric signatures of man-made targets, a new passive polarimetric imaging system was developed at Defence Research and Development Canada - Valcartier to collect polarization signatures over an extended spectral coverage. The Visible Infrared Passive Spectral Polarimetric Imager for Contrast Enhancement (VIP SPICE) operates four broad-band cameras concomitantly in the visible (VIS), the shortwave infrared (SWIR), the midwave infrared (MWIR), and the longwave infrared (LWIR) bands. The sensor is made of four synchronously-rotating polarizers mounted in front of each of the four cameras. Polarimetric signatures of man-made objects were acquired at various polarization angles in the four spectral bands. Preliminary results demonstrate the utility of the sensor to collect significant polarimetric signatures to discriminate man-made objects from their background.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Daniel A. Lavigne, Mélanie Breton, Georges Fournier, Mario Pichette, and Vincent Rivet "A new passive polarimetric imaging system collecting polarization signatures in the visible and infrared bands", Proc. SPIE 7300, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XX, 730010 (22 April 2009);

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