Phase-ratio imaging as applied to desert sands for tracking human presence.

Applied optics

PubMedID: 28157882

Yuffa AJ, Kaydash V, Korokhin V, Shkuratov Y, Zubko E, Videen G. Phase-ratio imaging as applied to desert sands for tracking human presence. Appl Opt. 2017;56(3):B184-B190.
The phase function is a measure of the light-scattered intensity, or radiance, as a function of scattering angle ?. A phase ratio is the ratio of two values of the phase function measured at different scattering angles and relates to the slope of the phase function. By taking the ratio of two images acquired at different illumination or observation conditions, a phase-ratio image can be constructed. Such images accentuate differences in the phase curves, rather than their intensities, and are more sensitive to microtopography than to material properties. We produce phase-ratio images from intensity images acquired at different observation times and locations in the desert environment of White Sands National Monument. Because of the lack of surface features, coregistration of the images is challenging, especially for images acquired from different observation locations. However, we do demonstrate that phase-ratio images can be used to identify disturbed sands. We also produce polarimetric and color-ratio images. These latter images do not suggest the possibility of identifying topographical differences due to human presence.