Polaris is a leading electro-optical sensor developer that exploits an attribute of light called polarization that reveals details that is undetected by other imagers. Light being polarized means the rays have a preferred angle of incidence. For example, the light from a lightbulb is unpolarized and is emitted in all directions, but the light bouncing off the road or water is often polarized and can be blinding, which is why we have polarized sunglasses. Polarization results from the vector nature of light and has the following properties:

  • present in all wavebands
  • IR polarization signals result from preferential emission of polarized light
  • depends strongly on the angle of incidence and surface properties
  • greater the angle of incidence, the greater the signal
  • manmade objects have significantly different polarization signatures from natural backgrounds

Polaris has a multi-use-case sensor called Pyxis. This sensor has a pixelated micro grid array integrated onto an uncooled microbolometer. This pixelated micro grid array has polarization filters at 4 orientations laid out similarly to a Bayer pattern.


Oil on Water

Polarization provides the needed sensitivity for oil on water detection. Thermal plus polarization with a color overlay provides accurate discrimination and detection. The Pyxis® is up to 400% more effective at detecting oil and other petrochemicals on water than the competing technology.


Corvus Polarized Thermal

Facial Recognition

Polarization enhanced thermal imaging analyzes facial features by sensing subtle changes in shape for a higher degree of identification accuracy. Works equally well in day and night conditions and does not require ambient or controlled lighting.


Target Detection

Polarization coupled with specialized software provides the detection of military vehicles and other threats that are hardly seen in thermal imagery while eliminating background clutter. Pyxis increases IR contrast for hard-to-detect objects including camouflaged and concealed threats.


Autonomous Vehicle Navigation

With polarization, it is easy to distinguish the roadway, obstacles, and other vehicles at a distance, even when thermal has low contrast or is misleading due to shadows. Daylight detail is revealed in low light and dark scenarios to aid in pathfinding and obstacle avoidance.


Acquisition and Tracking

Current acquisition, tracking, and pointing (ATP) technologies employ optical image processing and/or inertial measurement unit (IMU) data to mitigate image jitter in critical air and space borne targeting applications.

Pyxis Polarimeter


Real-Time Polarized Imagery

Up To 400% Better Detail and Contrast than Thermal Alone

Industry’s Smallest Polarimeter: less that 2 cubic inches, 83 grams

Multiple Configurations Available To Suit a Variety of Applications

Multiple Outputs for Maximum Flexibility

Pyxis® Vision Software Included


Pyxis Models

HD Coming Soon!

HD will be 1280 instead of 640.

Polaris Oil Spill Detection System

Exploiting the cutting-edge Pyxis® polarized infrared camera, the PODS™ system detects contaminants on water, outperforming conventional thermal 24/7, even in rough conditions. Using the PODS™ Software and user interface, the oil appears red, and can be configured to set off automatic alarms when detected.

The core PODS™ system includes the Pyxis® polarized infrared camera and autonomous detection and alarming software. The Pyxis® has demonstrated robust oil-on-water detection under a wide variety of conditions both in testing and in seep and spill scenarios in real-world conditions. The PODS™ software leverages the robust detection while simultaneously testing each potential alarm against multiple checks in order to eliminate false alarms. This core system can be mounted in a low-cost environmental enclosure, in a certified, intrinsically-safe housing, or a certified intrinsically-safe pan-tilt unit. The pan-tilt unit provides large area coverage from a single position over a pre-programmed path, optimizing detection in the areas you care about most. Alarms are given on the display and optionally remoted to other locations. The video feed is displayed live for human intervention only when necessary.

Oil Spill Cleanup And Response

We have collaborated with American Aerospace’s SkyScape to produce a unique system. Check it out!

Specifications Subject to Change Without Notice