Detection of Buried Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) Using Microbolometer and Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT)-based Infrared (IR) Polarimetric Sensors

Report No. ARL-TR-5944
Authors: Kristan P. Gurton, Melvin Felton, and Larry Pezzaniti
Date/Pages: February 2012; 30 pages
Abstract: We report results of an ongoing study designed to assess the ability for enhanced detection of recently buried landmines and/or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using passive polarimetric imaging. Polarimetric results are presented for a series of field tests conducted primarily at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD, on a variety of test surfaces ranging from a generic sand-based surface, to more conventional road-type surfaces consisting of well-packed gravel-clay-soil mixtures. We investigate changes in polarimetric imagery recorded for regions of recently disturbed surface material in which the image forming radiance is restricted to the emission dominate long-wave infrared (LWIR), i.e., 8–12 μm. Calibrated Stokes images, S0, S1, S2, and degree-of-linear-polarization (DOLP) images are recorded for different ground-to-ground slant paths at distances of approximately 10 m. Polarimetric imagery was recorded using two different LWIR polarimetric camera systems, one based on a cooled mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) focal-plane-array (FPA) and the other using a more cost-effective microbolometer FPA. Both systems are based on a spinning-achromatic-retarder (SAR) optical design capable of achieving high polarimetric frame rates. Receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) analysis and a standardized contrast parameter are used to compare detectability between conventional LWIR thermal and polarimetric imagery.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2012