Founded in 2003, Polaris Sensor Technologies, Inc. is a leading electro-optic sensor company that specializes in enhancing thermal imagery with polarization.

Founded in 2003, Polaris Sensor Technologies, Inc. is a leading electro-optic sensor company developing advanced optical systems for applications ranging from military sensors for detection, tracking, and environmental monitoring to navigation, holography, and aero-optics for hypersonic missiles. With a variety of customers across the DoD, we develop novel imaging sensors in wavebands from the visible to the infrared. Starting with only scientific concepts, we have delivered highly specialized sensors funded by the military that have evolved into laboratory instruments as well as small, rugged prototype systems suitable for surveillance, targeting, tracking, environmental monitoring, and inspection. Advanced algorithms and calibration software enable the systems to operate beyond the performance of traditional cameras. Today, the applied research investment exceeds twenty-five million dollars, and our products are being field tested and readied for the commercial market.

We have subject matter experts in the exploitation of polarization, a fundamental attribute of light that reveals details undetected by other imaging devices. Our polarization imagers solve difficult detection and imaging issues for military and commercial applications, and they augment traditional sensors and algorithms for target detection and tracking, chemical detection on water, clutter suppression for ground and air targets, navigation, and even facial recognition. We also have recognized experts in developing instrumentation for characterizing hypersonic aero-optic effects in the nation’s hypersonic wind tunnel and ground test facilities.

Polaris has dedicated years of development to polarization-based imaging systems for military, commercialization, and scientific entities. These systems provide daylight detail in the dark and visibility in low contrast conditions with real-time image processing. Combined with our eTherm® vision enhancement software, Polaris sensors capture, measure, display, and enhance images which can be colorized to display critical data. From concept to prototype to product, Polaris offers custom sensor solutions in any of the visible, near, short, mid, and long wave infrared spectral bands.


The Power of Polarization



The power of polarization is a property of light that offers more information than traditional sensors and details can be extracted from a scene that is not readily apparent in conventional thermal or visible imagers. The polarization signature of certain objects, such as man-made objects or natural substances that differ than the surrounding background, provide additional contrast in polarization imagery. 



Polarization is special because man-made objects generally produce strong polarization signals relative to natural materials. Here some features:

  • IR polarization signals result from preferential emission and reflection of polarized light.

  • The greater the angle of incidence, the greater the polarization signal.

  • The rougher the surface, the smaller the polarization signal.

  • Polarization signal does not depend on temperature difference.

  • Polarization enhances edges due to the abrupt change in surface orientations.

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