Applying a microfacet model to polarized light scattering measurements of the Earth's surface

Meridith Kathryn Kupinski, Christine Bradley, David Diner, Feng Xu, Russell A Chipman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Representative examples from three-years of measurements from JPL's Ground-based Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager (Ground-MSPI)[1] are compared to a model for the surface polarized bidirectional reflectance distribution matrix (BRDM). Ground-MSPI is an eight-band spectropolarimetric camera mounted on a rotating gimbal to acquire push-broom imagery of outdoor landscapes. The camera uses a photoelastic-modulator-based polarimetric imaging technique to measure linear Stokes parameters in three wavebands (470, 660, and 865 nm) with a ±0.005 uncertainty in degree of linear polarization (DoLP). Comparisons between MSPI measurements, BRDM models, and common modifications to the model are made over a range of scattering angles determined from a fixed viewing geometry and varying sun positions over time. The BRDM model is comprised of a volumetric reflection term plus a specular reflection term of Fresnel-reflecting micro-facets. We consider modifications to this model using a shadowing function and two different micro-facet scattering density functions. We report the root-mean-square error (RMSE) between the Ground-MSPI measurements and BRDM model. The BRDM model predicts an angle of the linear polarization (AoLP) that is perpendicular to the scattering plane. This is usually, but not always, observed in Ground-MSPI measurements and in this work we offer explanations for some of the deviations from the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolarization Science and Remote Sensing VII
EditorsJoseph A. Shaw, Daniel A. LeMaster
ISBN (Electronic)9781628417791
StatePublished - 2015
EventPolarization Science and Remote Sensing VII - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2015Aug 12 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherPolarization Science and Remote Sensing VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Bidirectional Polarized reectance Distribution Function (BPDF)
  • Bidirectional Reectance Distribution Matrix (BRDM)
  • Land surface
  • Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager (MSPI)
  • p-BRDF
  • polarized light scattering
  • reection models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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