Air Force-funded research has yielded new visibility technology for use in cloudy or dusty environments, Armed With Science reports.
Colorado School of Mines and ITN Energy Systems researchers developed a new circular polarization filter for the Air Force that has a variety of applications, spanning early cancer detection to enhanced vision through dust or clouds.
The new filter gives users the ability to measure the polarization of light quickly and effectively, according to the report.
ITN researcher Dr. Russell Hollingsworth said the filter can measure light properties using a camera.
While linear polarization filters can difficult to fabricate, the joint CSM-ITN team developed a microstructure that measures light polarization as well as color through a filter structure.
The technology allows the user to distinguish color and measures linear and circular polarized light.
This allows users to take full stock of the visual environment and to potentially see through clouds of dust that would usually impair line of sight vision, according to the report.
The report said the technology can also be applied biologically to examine DNA structure abnormalities.
Researchers expect the technology could benefit homeland security and national defense as well as healthcare industries, according to the report.