Weapon Wednesday – Polarimetric Thermal Imaging is Next Gen Night Vision

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Researchers demonstrate an example of human identification using conventional and polarimetric thermal cameras
Researchers demonstrate an example of human identification using conventional and polarimetric thermal cameras(Credit: US Army Research Laboratory)

A new thermal imaging system being developed for the US Army Laboratory by physicist Dr Kristan Gurton and electronics engineer Sean Hu uses polarized infrared light to reveal details like facial features. The technology will allow soldiers to pick out details such as tripwires, booby traps, buried landmines, mortars and UAVs in flight – even in total darkness.

Night vision technology has revolutionized warfare by enhancing the ability of soldiers to carry out their missions beyond daylight hours. Thermal imaging is particularly useful because it works in complete darkness and needs no external illumination.

Where photomultiplier systems rely on reflected infrared light and require an outside source – often a lamp on the night vision scope itself – thermal imaging uses the infrared radiation emitted by any object that has a temperature above absolute zero. This radiation varies in intensity with the temperature of the object, allowing a thermal camera to build up false color images of people, landscapes, and objects in both day and night conditions.

The problem is that thermal imaging is prone to ghosting effects, which blur details and make faces look like blank masks. But when polarized infrared light is added using facial recognition algorithms, the details return with surprising clarity.

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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