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Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1223;

A Bionic Polarization Navigation Sensor and Its Calibration Method

School of Instrument Science and Opto-Electronics Engineering, Beihang University, No. 37 Xueyuan RD, Haidian, Beijing 100191, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 24 July 2016 / Accepted: 24 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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The polarization patterns of skylight which arise due to the scattering of sunlight in the atmosphere can be used by many insects for deriving compass information. Inspired by insects’ polarized light compass, scientists have developed a new kind of navigation method. One of the key techniques in this method is the polarimetric sensor which is used to acquire direction information from skylight. In this paper, a polarization navigation sensor is proposed which imitates the working principles of the polarization vision systems of insects. We introduce the optical design and mathematical model of the sensor. In addition, a calibration method based on variable substitution and non-linear curve fitting is proposed. The results obtained from the outdoor experiments provide support for the feasibility and precision of the sensor. The sensor’s signal processing can be well described using our mathematical model. A relatively high degree of accuracy in polarization measurement can be obtained without any error compensation. View Full-Text
Keywords: polarization; navigation; mathematical model; calibration polarization; navigation; mathematical model; calibration

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Zhao, H.; Xu, W. A Bionic Polarization Navigation Sensor and Its Calibration Method. Sensors 2016, 16, 1223.

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