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Proceedings Paper

Thermal emission polarization
Author(s): Lawrence B. Wolff; Andrew Lundberg; Renjie Tang
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Paper Abstract

Existing polarization-based image understanding techniques use information only from reflected light. Apart form incandescent bodies thermally emitted light radiation from elements of a scene in the visible spectrum is insignificant. However, at longer wavelengths such as in the IR thermal emission is typically quite prevalent form a number of scene elements of interest. FLIR imagery of both indoor and outdoor scenes reveals that many objects thermally emit a significant amount of radiation. Polarization from thermally emitting objects has been observed as long as 170 years ago from incandescent objects but since then there have only ben a limited number of empirical investigations into this phenomenon. This paper present a comprehensive model for explaining polarization of thermal emission from both rough and smooth surfaces, in agreement with empirical data, that can significantly enhance the image understanding of FLIR imagery. In particular it is possible to discern metal from dielectric materials under certain conditions, and from an accurate model for thermally emitted polarization it is possible to predictively model polarization signatures form CAD models of importance to automatic target recognition.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3754, Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing II, (25 October 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.366318
Show Author Affiliations
Lawrence B. Wolff, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Andrew Lundberg, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Renjie Tang, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3754:
Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing II
Dennis H. Goldstein; David B. Chenault, Editor(s)

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