Imaging laser radar (ladar) systems have been developed for automatic target identification in surveillance systems. Ladar uses the range value at the target pixels to estimate the target's 3-D shape and identify the target. For targets in clutter and partially hidden targets, there are ambiguities in determining which pixels are on target that lead to uncertainties in determining the target's 3-D shape. An improvement is to use the polarization components of the reflected light. We describe the operation and preliminary evaluation of a polarization diverse imaging ladar system. Using a combination of intensity, range, and degree of polarization, we are better able to identify and distinguish the target from other objects of the same class.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
Cornell S. L. Chun and Firooz A. Sadjadi, "Polarimetric laser radar target classification," Opt. Lett. 30, 1806-1808 (2005)