Moving towards more intuitive display strategies for polarimetric image data

Bradley M. Ratliff, J. Scott Tyo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The display of polarimetric imaging data has been a subject of considerable debate. Display strategies range from direct display of the Stokes vector images (or their derivatives) to false color representations. In many cases, direct interpretation of polarimetric image data using traditional display strategies is not intuitive and can at times result in confusion as to what benefit polarimetric information is actually providing. Here we investigate approaches that attempt to augment the s0 image with polarimetric information, rather than directly display it, as a means of enhancing the baseband s0 image. The benefit is that the polarization-enhanced visible or infrared image maintains a familiar look without the need for complex interpretation of the meaning of the polarimetric data, thus keeping the incorporation of polarimetric information transparent to the end user. The method can be applied to monochromatic or multi-band data, which allows color to be used for representing spectral data in multi-or hyper-spectropolarimetric applications. We take a more subjective approach to image enhancement than current techniques employ by simply seeking to improve contrast and shape information for polarized objects within a scene. We find that such approaches provide clear enhancement to the imagery when polarized objects are contained within the scene without the need for complex interpretation of polarization phenomenology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - Polarization Science and Remote Sensing VIII
EditorsJoseph A. Shaw, Frans Snik
Place of PublicationBellingham WA USA
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612723
ISBN (Print)9781510612716
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventPolarization Science and Remote Sensing VIII 2017 - San Diego, United States of America
Duration: 8 Aug 20179 Aug 2017 (Proceedings)

Publication series

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


ConferencePolarization Science and Remote Sensing VIII 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CitySan Diego
Internet address


  • Display
  • Imaging
  • Imaging Polarimetry
  • Polarization

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