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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 26 — Dec. 30, 2013
  • pp: 32549–32565

The polarization patterns of skylight reflected off wave water surface

Guanhua Zhou, Wujian Xu, Chunyue Niu, and Huijie Zhao  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 26, pp. 32549-32565 (2013)

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In this paper we propose a model to understand the polarization patterns of skylight when reflected off the surface of waves. The semi-empirical Rayleigh model is used to analyze the polarization of scattered skylight; the Harrison and Coombes model is used to analyze light radiance distribution; and the Cox-Munk model and Mueller matrix are used to analyze reflections from wave surface. First, we calculate the polarization patterns and intensity distribution of light reflected off wave surface. Then we investigate their relationship with incident radiation, solar zenith angle, wind speed and wind direction. Our results show that the polarization patterns of reflected skylight from waves and flat water are different, while skylight reflected on both kinds of water is generally highly polarized at the Brewster angle and the polarization direction is approximately parallel to the water's surface. The backward-reflecting Brewster zone has a relatively low reflectance and a high DOP in all observing directions. This can be used to optimally diminish the reflected skylight and avoid sunglint in ocean optics measurements.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(120.5700) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Reflection
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(010.0280) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Remote sensing and sensors

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: October 31, 2013
Revised Manuscript: December 15, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: December 17, 2013
Published: December 23, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 2 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Guanhua Zhou, Wujian Xu, Chunyue Niu, and Huijie Zhao, "The polarization patterns of skylight reflected off wave water surface," Opt. Express 21, 32549-32565 (2013)

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