Abstract

Three different configurations utilizing polarized short-wave infrared light to classify winter road conditions have been investigated. In the first configuration, polarized broadband light was detected in the specular and backward directions, and the quotient between the detected intensities was used as the classification parameter. Best results were obtained for the SS-configuration. This sensor was shown to be able to distinguish between the smooth road conditions of water and ice from the diffuse road conditions of snow and dry asphalt with a probability of wrong classification as low as 7%. The second sensor configuration was a pure backward architecture utilizing polarized light with two distinct wavelengths. This configuration was shown to be effective for the important problem of distinguishing water from ice with a probability of wrong classification of only 1.5%. The third configuration was a combination of the two previous ones. This combined sensor utilizing bispectral illumination and bidirectional detection resulted in a probability of wrong classification as low as 2% among all four surfaces.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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