We present a series of long-wave-infrared (LWIR) polarimetric-based thermal images of facial profiles in which polarization-state information of the image-forming radiance is retained and displayed. The resultant polarimetric images show enhanced facial features, additional texture, and details that are not present in corresponding conventional thermal imagery. It has been generally thought that conventional thermal imagery (MidIR or LWIR) could not produce the detailed spatial information required for reliable human identification due to the so-called “ghosting” effect often seen in thermal imagery of human subjects. By using polarimetric information, we are able to extract subtle surface features of the human face, thus improving subject identification. Polarimetric image sets considered include the conventional thermal intensity image, , the two Stokes images, and , and a Stokes image product called the degree-of-linear-polarization image.
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