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Proceedings Paper

Visible-to-SWIR wavelength variation of skylight polarization
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Paper Abstract

Knowledge of the polarization state of natural skylight is important to growing applications using polarimetric sensing. We previously published measurements and simulations illustrating the complex interaction between atmospheric and surface properties in determining the spectrum of skylight polarization from the visible to near-infrared (1 μm).1 Those results showed that skylight polarization can trend upward or downward, or even have unusual spectral discontinuities that arise because of sharp features in the underlying surface reflectance. The specific spectrum observed in a given case depended strongly on atmospheric and surface properties that varied with wavelength. In the previous study, the model was fed with actual measurements of highly variable aerosol and surface properties from locations around the world. Results, however, were limited to wavelengths below 1 μm from a lack in available satellite surface reflectance data at longer wavelengths. We now report measurement-driven simulations of skylight polarization from 350 nm to 2500 nm in the short-wave infrared (SWIR) using hand-held spectrometer measurements of spectral surface reflectance. The SWIR degree of linear polarization was found to be highly dependent on the aerosol size distribution and on the resulting relationship between the aerosol and Rayleigh optical depths. Unique polarization features in the modeled results were attributed to the surface reflectance and the skylight DoLP generally decreased as surface reflectance increased.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2015
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9613, Polarization Science and Remote Sensing VII, 96130P (1 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2187296
Show Author Affiliations
Laura M. Dahl, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Joseph A. Shaw, Montana State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9613:
Polarization Science and Remote Sensing VII
Joseph A. Shaw; Daniel A. LeMaster, Editor(s)

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