Effects of surface roughness and albedo on depolarization in mueller matrices

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

5 Scopus citations


The Mueller matrix dependence on an objects' albedo and surface texture are measured and these effects are used to inform modifications to a microfacet model for polarized light scattering. Four different textures are imparted on red LEGO bricks which are illuminated at 451 nm and 662 nm. These wavelengths yield measurements for both low and high albedo conditions respectively. Analysis of polarizance, depolarization index, polarization entropy, and matrix roots demonstrate that texture and albedo have distinct polarization and depolarization signatures. The root mean square deviations (RMSD) of the unmodified microfacet model from the measurements are about three times greater for high albedo compared to low albedo measurements. The surface texture trend is more subtle, but in all cases the RMSD decreases as roughness increases. A major contribution of this work is an adjustment to the microfacet model so that the polarized term is wavelength dependent. This adjusted model improves the RMSD more for the low albedo compared to the high albedo measurements. To improve model fits to high albedo measurements, a modified depolarization structure is introduced to reduce the RMSD of high albedo measurements by about a factor of two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolarization
Subtitle of host publicationMeasurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing XIV
EditorsDavid B. Chenault, Dennis H. Goldstein
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636019
StatePublished - 2020
EventPolarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing XIV 2020 - None, United States
Duration: Apr 27 2020May 8 2020

Publication series

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


ConferencePolarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing XIV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Depolarization
  • Matrix roots
  • Microfacet model
  • Mueller Polarimetry
  • Mueller matrix
  • Polarization

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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