Abstract

Polarized light fields contain more information than simple irradiance and such capabilities provide an advanced tool for underwater imaging. The concept of the beam spread function (BSF) for analysis of scalar underwater imaging was extended to a polarized BSF which considers polarization. The following studies of the polarized BSF in an underwater environment through Monte Carlo simulations and experiments led to a simplified underwater polarimetric imaging model. With the knowledge acquired in the analysis of the polarimetric imaging formation process of a manmade underwater target with known polarization properties, a method to extract the inherent optical properties of the water and to retrieve polarization characteristics of the target was explored. The proposed method for retrieval of underwater target polarization characteristics should contribute to future efforts to reveal the underlying mechanism of polarization camouflage possessed by marine animals and finally to generalize guidelines for creating engineered surfaces capable of similar polarization camouflage abilities in an underwater environment.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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