Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 10 (2015)

Polarization imaging over sea surface - a method for measurements of Stokes components angular distribution

W. Freda, J. Piskozub, H. Toczek


This article describes a method for determining the angular distribution of light polarization over a roughened surface of the sea. Our method relies on measurements of the Stokes vector elements using a polarization imaging camera that operates using the Division of Focal Plane (DoFP) method. It uses special monochrome CCD array in which the neighbouring cells, instead of recording different colours (red green and blue), are equipped with micropolarizers of four directions (0, 45, 90 and 135 degrees).

We combined the camera with a fish-eye lens of Field of View (FoV) > 180 deg. Such a large FoV allowed us to crop out the fragment of the frame along the circular horizon, showing a view covering all directions of the hemisphere. Because of complicated optical design of the fish-eye lens (light refraction on surfaces of parts of the lens) connected to the sensor we checked the accuracy of the measurement system. A method to determine the accuracy of measured polarization is based on comparison of the experimentally obtained rotation matrix with its theoretical form. Such a comparison showed that the maximum error of Stokes vector elements depended on zenith angle and reached as much as 24% for light coming from just above the horizon, but decreased rapidly with decreasing zenith angle to the value of 12% for the angles 10° off the edge of FoV.

Moreover we present the preliminary results prepared over rough sea surface. These results include total intensity of light, Degree of Linear Polarization (DoLP) and their standard deviations. The results have been averaged over one thousand frames of a movie. These results indicate that the maximum polarization is observed near the reflection of the sun, and the signal coming from below the surface may be observed at zenith angles far from the vertical direction.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2015.15060]

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