The new thermal imaging system was developed for the US Army Research Laboratory by Dr. Kristan Gurton and electronic engineer Sean Hu. It uses polarized infrared light to see even fine details clearly. Thanks to this technology, soldiers in combat conditions will be able to distinguish vital objects for them in complete darkness - stretch marks, booby-traps, minefields, mortars and flying drones.
The problem with existing night vision technology is that it suffers from a so-called halo effect, which blurs details and makes faces look like masks. However, with the addition of polarized infrared light combined with face detection algorithms, details are displayed in high definition.
For 30 years, researchers have known that man-made objects emit thermal radiation, which is partially polarized, Gurton said. At the same time, the level of polarization in objects of natural origin - grass, soil, bushes and trees is very insignificant.
“Currently, ” continues Gurton, “we are working with private companies to develop a special type of thermal camera that will help record images based solely on the polarized component of light, and not on its intensity. This will allow soldiers to see objects in the dark that were previously invisible to conventional infrared devices. ”