Polarization-Enhanced Sun-Glint Imaging for Measuring Ocean Wave Statistics
Navy SBIR FY2006.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2006.1
Topic No.: N06-002
Topic Title: Polarization-Enhanced Sun-Glint Imaging for Measuring Ocean Wave Statistics
Proposal No.: N061-002-0064
Firm: Airborne Technologies, Inc.
4338 N. Gunflint Trail
Wasilla, Alaska 99654-9965
Contact: Tim Veenstra
Phone: (907) 357-1541
Web Site: www.atiak.com
Abstract: The U.S. Navy is in need of a data collection system for developing a statistical model in terms of probability distribution functions of surface wave slopes. Airborne Technologies, Inc. proposes a unique method of using a dual polarization enhanced sun glint imaging system design that will image sun glints from waves of modest-to-large slopes. We will use optical polarization to enhance the contrast between steep-slope glints and the background, enabling automated glint detection. A computer that controls the imaging system will count glints in each pixel and construct a wave-slope probability density function. Funding to develop this unique design for an autonomous data collection system will enable Airborne Technologies to address current Naval needs as well as reach potential markets in NOAA, the research community and commercial environmental monitoring.
Benefits: A number of commercial remote sensing applications will benefit from improved knowledge of the wave-slope probability. These measurements include sea-surface temperature sensing, ocean color imaging and aerosol retrievals, space and airborne lidar data calibration determination of laser eye safety in the marine environment, and near-surface wind sensing from air or space. The data collection system developed for this project will find both Department of Defense and commercial applications for passive measuring of surface fluxes as they relate to monitoring of boundary layer conditions for a variety of applications including vessel wake detection and climatic changes.