Remote Sensing through Imaging Polarimetry for Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Polaris Sensor Technologies, Inc.
200 Westside Square Array
Huntsville, AL 35801
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Remote sensing technologies are used to identify activities associated with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Remote sensing requires the extraction of as much information as possible from the available measured energy, in order to identify objects of interest in the scene. Polarization is a fundamental property of light that is not typically exploited because of the additional difficulties in sensing and processing the information. However, polarization has the potential to increase signal-to-noise ratios, enhance man-made objects with respect to natural background material, provide increased image stability in the infrared region of the spectrum, and characterize the shape and orientation of objects. This project will design, build, and deliver a small, portable, and affordable imaging polarimeter system that will enable the DOE to quantify polarization content for the detection and identification of proliferation activities. In Phase I, radiometric and polarimetric calibration procedures will be developed, along with the development of algorithms that are distinctive to an imaging polarimeter,. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: A small, portable, and inexpensive polarization-sensitive infrared imaging system would be useful in many environmental monitoring applications where change of texture occurs. In addition to the application to nonproliferation monitoring, the technology should be applicable to the detection of ice in surfaces, oil slicks, and other human-induced changes in natural scenes. Anti-personnel land mine remediation is another application that could benefit from the additional information provided by polarization detection techniques.