Abstract

A significant advance is reported in imaging the polarimetry of a terrestrial area of Earth located along the Mississippi River near New Madrid, Missouri. Color imagery was obtained with twin Hasselblad cameras with mutually perpendicular polarization analyzers. Digitization of the imagery in three colors (red, green, and blue) was accomplished at the Johnson Space Center Video Digital Analysis System Laboratory, Houston, Texas. A ground resolution of 80–90 m was achieved in the high-resolution imagery. Percent polarization was superior to photometry for recognition and characterization of farm crops such as rice, milo, cotton, and soybeans and of fallow areas. Statistical analyses of the percent-polarization data permit a unique classification of crops. Atmospheric effects may be deduced. Space-shuttle window distortion and viewing angle–sun geometry must be taken into account in analyzing the data.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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