Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) sensors are one of the detectors of choice in LIDAR applications, due to their high sensitivity and time resolution. Traditionally, single-point SPAD detectors have been used, necessitating optical scanning, and hence leading to slower acquisition times. However, recent advances in SPAD technology have yielded high pixel count imagers. In these sensors, high sensitivity is ensured by maximising the photo-sensitive area of the device, whilst time-resolved capability is offered by the time stamping of photon detections and/or a programmable timegate synced to the laser source. The resulting sensors show an exciting promise for LIDAR, especially in challenging, low-light, high-speed applications.
Istvan Gyongy, Tarek Al Abbas, Neil Finlayson, Nick Johnston, Neil Calder, Ahmet Erdogan, Neale W. Dutton, Richard Walker, and Robert K. Henderson, "Advances in CMOS SPAD sensors for LIDAR applications," Proc. SPIE 10799, Emerging Imaging and Sensing Technologies for Security and Defence III; and Unmanned Sensors, Systems, and Countermeasures, 1079907 (Presented at SPIE Security + Defence: September 12, 2018; Published: 4 October 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2501977.
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