Abstract

The sky light polarization navigator has many advantages, such as low cost, no decrease in accuracy with continuous operation, etc. However, current celestial polarization measurement methods often suffer from low performance when the sky is covered by clouds, which reduce the accuracy of navigation. In this paper we introduce a new method and structure based on a handheld light field camera and a radial polarizer, composed of an S-wave plate and a linear polarizer, to detect the sky light polarization pattern across a wide field of view in a single snapshot. Each micro-subimage has a special intensity distribution. After extracting the texture feature of these subimages, stable distribution information of the angle of polarization under a cloudy sky can be obtained. Our experimental results match well with the predicted properties of the theory. Because the polarization pattern is obtained through image processing, rather than traditional methods based on mathematical computation, this method is less sensitive to errors of pixel gray value and thus has better anti-interference performance.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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