Polarized light can provide additional information about a scene that cannot be obtained directly from intensity or spectral images. Rather than treating the optical field as scalar, polarization images seek to obtain the vector nature of the optical field from the scene. Polarimetry thus has been found to be useful in several applications, including material classification and target detection. Recently, optical polarization has been identified as an emerging technique and has shown promising applications in passive remote sensing. Compared with the traditional spectral content of the scene, polarimetric signatures are much more dependent on the scene geometry and the polarimetric bidirectional reflectance distribution function (pBRDF) of the objects. Passive polarimetric scene simulation has been shown to be helpful in better understanding such phenomenology. However, the combined effects of the scene characteristics, the sensor noise and optical imperfections, and the different processing algorithm implementations on the overall system performance have not been systematically studied. To better understand the effects of various system attributes and help optimize the design and use of polarimetric imaging system, an analytical model has been developed to predict the system performance. A detailed introduction of the analytical model is first presented. The model propagates the first and second order statistics of radiance from a scene model to a sensor model, and finally to a processing model. Validation with data collected from a division of time polarimeter show good agreement between model predictions and measurements. It has been shown that the analytical model is able to predict the general polarization behavior and data trends with different scene geometries. Based on the analytical model we then define several system performance metrics to evaluate the polarimetic signatures of different objects as well as target detection performance. Parameter tradeoff studies have been conducted for analysis of potential system performance. Finally based on the analytical model and system performance metrics we investigate optimal filter configurations to sense polarization. We develop an adaptive polarimetric target detector to determine the optimum analyzer orientations for a multichannel polarization-sensitive optical system. Compared with several conventional operation methods, we find that better target detection performance is achieved with our algorithm.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Polarimetric remote sensing--Mathematical models; Polarimetric remote sensing--Evaluation
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Meng, Lingfei, "Analytical modeling, performance analysis, and optimization of polarimetric imaging system" (2012). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus