The Australian Defence Science and Technology Group have developed novel single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) arrays using Silicon based complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. The first of these was a simple 32x32 pixel array, followed by higher density arrays developed with our partners. These single photon detector arrays have inherently low dark currents and we have used them in several Flash LADAR systems, including an innovative design where the LADAR is cued by an 8-12 micron infrared imager which shares a common aperture. The use of Flash LADAR (rather than scanning) has the advantage that moving targets can be imaged accurately. We have developed modelling and simulation tools for predicting SPAD LADAR performance and use processing techniques to suppress ‘background’ counts and resolve targets that are obscured by clutter. In this paper we present some of our initial results in discriminating small (<1 m) targets at ranges out to 10 km. Results from our field experiments include extraction of a 0.5m object at 10 km and identification of a small flying UAV.
William F. Woods, Dennis V. Delic, Barnaby W. Smith, Leszek Świerkowski, Geoffrey S. Day, Vladimyros Devrelis, and Robert A. Joyce, "Object detection and recognition using laser radar incorporating novel SPAD technology," Proc. SPIE 11005, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXIV, 1100504 (Presented at SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing: April 16, 2019; Published: 2 May 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2517869.
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