Abstract

The Mueller matrix imaging method is a powerful tool for target detection. In this study, the effect of the air–sea interface on the detection of underwater objects is studied. A backward Monte Carlo code has been developed to study this effect. The main result is that the reflection of the diffuse sky light by the interface reduces the Mueller image contrast. If the air–sea interface is ruffled by wind, the distinction between different regions of the underwater target is smoothed out. The effect of the finite size of an active light source is also studied. The image contrast is found to be relatively insensitive to the size of the light source. The volume scattering function plays an important role on the underwater object detection. Generally, a smaller asymmetry parameter decreases the contrast of the polarimetry images.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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