A Monte Carlo ray trace tool for predicting contrast in naval scenes including the effects of polarization


etd.pdf (5.51 MB)
Downloads: 157

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


The survivability of U.S. warships has become a higher priority than ever before. Two ways to improve survivability are to either avoid damage, or to continue to operate after damage has been incurred. This thesis concentrates on the first line of defense, which involves the first of these two approaches. Specifically, this thesis evaluates the extent of threat due to optical contrast with the ocean background.

As part of this effort, an MCRT tool was created that allows the user to vary the shape and surface properties of a ship. A reverse MCRT was performed in order to reduce the processing time required to get accurate results. Using this MCRT tool, the user can determine the theoretical contrast with the ocean surface that would be seen at any viewing angle with and without a polarization filter. The contrast due to differential polarization and a change in viewing angle is estimated to determine the extent of threat. These results can be determined for both daytime and nighttime conditions by specifying if the ray trace is in the infrared or visible light range. The location of the sun for daytime conditions, and the temperature of the surfaces for nighttime conditions, can all be adjusted by the user.

In order to get an accurate estimation of the signal power coming from the ocean surface, a great deal of time and effort was spent modeling the ocean surface. Many studies have been done concerning the slope statistics of an ocean surface, some more informative than others. This thesis takes two of the most complete studies and brings them together to get accurate slope statistics in both along-wind and crosswind directions. An original idea by the author was used to give a typical shape to the waves of the simulated ocean surface. The surface properties of the ship were determined using Fresnel's equations and the complex index of refraction of water at the particular wavelengths of interest.



polarization, Monte Carlo ray trace, sea-slope