An Imaging Polarimetric Camera

Case ID:

Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed the concept for a camera system that is able to perform polarimetric imaging with ease while simultaneously implementing instrumentation that reduces polarization artifacts. The system uses technology currently existing in handheld cameras to perform polarization imaging in a novel way that allows for quick image acquisition as well as rugged design. The camera is run with one-click operation and a rapid four-image sequence acquisition. This system has potential to be used in a myriad of applications ranging from medical imaging to military surveillance.

Polarization is a characteristic of light that few cameras exploit, but that can be used to give additional characterization to objects in a scene. For example, it has been shown that polarization can be used to distinguish manmade objects in natural surroundings. Also, polarization has demonstrated utility in biomedical imaging where abnormal tissues may be more readily detected through the use of polarimetry. Notwithstanding the advantages given by polarimetry, implementation of polarimetric cameras has been difficult due to the mechanically high tolerances needed to provide good accuracy and reliability in such systems. Artifacts commonly appear in polarization images due to edge effects and image alignment. Therefore, effective instrumentation for polarimetric cameras needs to be developed to mitigate these effects.


  • Easily implemented in standard camera format
  • Reduction of polarization artifacts
  • Improves polarization imaging by exploiting existing technologies in a novel way


  • Enhanced identification of abnormal tissue in medical imaging
  • Object characterization in remote sensing (surface properties / target identification)
  • Image enhancement or photography effects for standard camera systems
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Richard Weite
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Russell Chipman
Stanley Pau