We report the results of a series of underwater imaging experiments in the visible, carried out at ENEA (Frascati, Rome) by using a bistatic, amplitude-modulated laser optical radar system. In these experiments, polarimetry is used for minimizing the water backscattering signal and improving the accuracy of phase measurements directly related to distance. The presented technique enables one to obtain 3D images of underwater real scenes characterized by high quality, space resolution, and contrast. The results are of remarkable importance for applications in the 3D imaging of submerged objects, such as submarine archaeological sites.
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