The scattering properties of materials such as coated and painted surfaces are important in the design of low observable materials. These properties are also important to enable accurate modeling of targets in a scene of different background materials. The distribution of light scatter from surfaces can be determined by measurements of the Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) using devices such as scatterometers. The BRDF should ideally be possible to measure both in and outside the plane-of-incidence in order to characterize both isotropic and anisotropic scatter and with suitably high angular resolving power and signal to noise ratio at the wavelengths of interest. Both narrow-band light sources (e.g. lasers) and broad-band light sources in combination with spectral band pass filters may be used in combination with appropriate detectors. This type of instrumentation may consist of complex mechanically moving parts and optics requiring careful alignment to the sample surface to be measured. To understand the synergies and discrepancies between the outputs of different BRDF instruments measuring the same sample set, we have compared BRDF measurement results between our research laboratories in a round robin comparison of an agreed set of sample surfaces and measurement geometries and wavelengths. In this paper, the results from this study will be presented and discussed.
Airborne surveillance helicopters and aeroplanes used by security and defence forces around the world increasingly rely on their visible band and thermal infrared cameras to prosecute operations such as the co-ordination of police vehicles during the apprehension of a stolen car, or direction of all emergency services at a serious rail crash. To perform their function effectively, it is necessary for the airborne officers to unambiguously identify police and the other emergency service vehicles. In the visible band, identification is achieved by placing high contrast symbols and characters on the vehicle roof. However, at the wavelengths at which thermal imagers operate, the dark and light coloured materials have similar low reflectivity and the visible markings cannot be discerned. Hence there is a requirement for a method of passively and unobtrusively marking vehicles concurrently in the visible and thermal infrared, over a large range of viewing angles. In this paper we discuss the design, detailed angle-dependent spectroscopic characterisation and operation of novel visible and infrared vehicle marking materials, and present airborne IR and visible imagery of materials in use.
Scene simulation has proved to be a valuable tool for analysing the images perceived by visible and infrared imaging systems. Accurate scene simulation requires accurate incorporation of the optical properties of all the materials within a scene, with reflectance incorporated with the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) and emission incorporated through the directional emissivity or hemispherical directional reflectance (HDR). This paper compares the fit of various parameterised models to experimental BRDF data from a variety of surfaces representing the extremes of material properties found in the environment. One of the main aims is to infer the accuracy and validity of an in-house BRDF model called Mopaf using data representative of different sorts of isotropically reflecting materials. Where appropriate physical and semiempirical models and a novel parameter based BRDF model were compared with Mopaf and with BRDF data from a Surface Optics Corporation SOC-200 instrument. It was concluded that Mopaf might not be reliable for all the angular BRDF data, especially specularly reflecting surfaces or grazing incidence data. Likewise, the other BRDF models investigated tended to be limited to a range of physical conditions such as only diffuse reflection or to a range of surface roughness. It was shown that the proposed new BRDF model was more generally applicable from the visible to infrared wavelengths, over a wide range of reflection angles and for different sorts of surface material.
The incorporation of polarisation sensitive optics offers considerable potential for improving the utility of remote sensing imaging systems operating within the visible or infrared wavebands. Systems now exist allowing measurement of the four components of Stokes vector arising from each pixel in the image. In order to develop the interpretation of polarimetric images, knowledge is required of the polarised directional reflectance properties of the materials in the scene, which determine the radiation reaching the sensor. Natural vegetation forms a significant element of many scenes observed with remote sensing systems. Although the size of a leaf may be below the spatial resolution of a system, the reflectance properties of individual leaves will affect the polarimetric data observed. This paper will report the results of measurements of the linear polarised bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) from two examples of leaves. The polarimetric properties of the directional reflectance from an individual leaf will depend on the surface and volume scattering properties. We report data on two leaves representing extreme cases of the leaf structure. Laurel (prunus laurecatious) has a nacreous surface creating a gloss finish to the leaf. Mullein (verbascum thapsus) has a highly pubescent surface, creating a highly diffuse surface reflectance. Measurements of the linear polarisation BRDF are reported at 632.8nm, 1064nm, 3.39pm and 10.6µm as a function of the polar scatter angles. These wavelengths characterise the polarised reflectance from the leaves under different conditions of absorption and scattering. In both cases the body of the leaf acts a highly diffuse reflector through multiple scattering, but this mechanism is only important when the absorption by the leaf constituents is low. In the spectral regions of moderate and high absorption the surface reflectance dominates. In the case of laurel the surface is relatively smooth, with an associated Brewster angle, whereas the data suggests the layer of hair covering a mullein leaf acts as an array of scattering sources.
There has been increasing interest in the measurement, validation, and parameterization of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) from surface coatings for image simulation and rendering, and design models of coating systems. The complexity of data required depends on the finish or final appearance of the surface coating. In particular the development of optical effect pigments places heightened requirements on the BRDF data needed for adequate characterization of a surface coating. Measurements of the BRDF are presented from pigmented films representative of the top layer of a paint coating. The measurements investigate the scattering characteristics of pearlescent pigments as a function of the incident polar angle and the polar and azimuthal scatter angles, including a study of the spectral variation of the BRDF across the visible waveband from 350 nm to 800 nm. In addition, measurements of linearly polarized BRDF as a function of incident and reflected directions are reported. The measurements emphasize the various optical properties of coatings such as surface and volume scattering and polarization contributions, which need to be considered if the data is to be accurately modelled or parameterized and used effectively.