Power spectra trends in imaging polarimetry of outdoor solar illuminated scenes

Meredith Kupinski, Russell Chipman

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

4 Scopus citations


The 1/f2 power law (where f is spatial frequency) characterizes the spatial power spectrum of non-polarimetric images of outdoor scenes when averaged over an appropriately large ensemble. This empirical result has been repeatedly verified in diverse imaging applications. In this work we compare the ensemble-averaged power spectrum of radiance and polarized radiance images. Outdoor scenes have been imaged over the past three-years using JPL's Ground-based Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager (Ground-MSPI)[1] at the University of Arizona (UA). Ground-MSPI is an eight-band spectropolarimetric camera mounted on a rotating gimbal to acquire pushbroom imagery of solar illuminated outdoor landscapes. This Ground-MSPI image library offers a unique opportunity to quantify the statistical trends between polarimetric and non-polarimetric measurements. From power spectrum analysis of 1,975 images in our collection we report that the magnitude of the 1/f-exponent is lower for the polarized radiance image than the corresponding radiance image. This result quantifies the contrast mechanism difference for imaging polarimetry, indicates higher spatial frequency content in passive polarimetry of outdoor environments, and supports the assertion that polarimetry offers unique detection capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolarization
Subtitle of host publicationMeasurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing XII
EditorsDavid B. Chenault, Dennis H. Goldstein
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600942
StatePublished - 2016
EventPolarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing XII - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 18 2016Apr 19 2016

Publication series

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


OtherPolarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing XII
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Polarization contrast enhancement
  • Stokes imaging
  • target enhancement 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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