Angle of linear polarization images of outdoor scenes

Meredith Kupinski, Christine Bradley, David Diner, Feng Xu, Russell Chipman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Observations from the Ground-based Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager (GroundMSPI) are used to relate angle of linear polarization (AoLP) measurements to material properties and illumination conditions in sunlit outdoor environments. GroundMSPI is a push-broom spectropolarimetric camera with an uncertainty in degree of linear polarization (DoLP) of ±0.005. This polarimetric accuracy yields useful AoLP images even when the DoLP is less than 0.02. AoLP images are reported with respect to dependency on surface texture, surface orientation, albedo, and illumination conditions. Agreement with well-known principles of polarized light scattering is illustrated, and several special cases are described. Expected observations of AoLP tangential to surface orientation and AoLP perpendicular to the scattering plane are reported. Significant changes in the AoLP are observed from common variations in outdoor illumination conditions. Also, simple variants in material properties change the dominant polarized light scattering process and thus the AoLP. Measurement examples that isolate a 90 deg AoLP flip are shown for a sunny and cloudy day as well as an object of high and low albedo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number082419
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • angle of linear polarization
  • multiangle spectropolarimetric imager
  • polarimetric imaging
  • polarized light scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering(all)


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