Bodkin Design & Engineering (Newton, MA, USA) has been awarded a contract from the US Air Force to develop a polarizing element that can be retrofitted to an infra-red camera to switch it from a high-resolution IR imaging mode to a polarimetric infra-red imaging mode.
Polarimetric imaging measures the polarization states of light coming from all points in a scene. This information, particularly in the infrared region, can help classify materials and identify objects of interest for remote sensing and military applications. Surveillance using a polarization sensitive camera, for example, can improve the detection of targets under tree canopy, in camouflage and in cluttered environments.
The company says that the new switchable element could be adapted to fit existing cameras to enable them to rapidly switch between polarimetric and high resolution imagery.
The nine-month project is funded by the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR), a program established by the Small Business Administration Office.
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design