Polarization: A Key to an Airbone Optical System for the Detection of Oil on Water

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Science  15 Jun 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4091, pp. 1170-1171
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4091.1170


Skylight polarization, which varies with the position of the sun in the sky, influences the contrast of oil on water. Good contrast is most consistently obtained by viewing in azimuth directions toward or away from the sun. Contrast is enhanced by imaging selected polarization components and by taking the difference between orthogonal polarization components.