18 October 2016 Synthetic aperture ladar based on a MOPAW laser
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Abstract
Long range land surveillance is a critical need in numerous military and civilian security applications, such as threat detection, terrain mapping and disaster prevention. A key technology for land surveillance, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) continues to provide high resolution radar images in all weather conditions from remote distances. State of the art SAR systems based on dual-use satellites are capable of providing ground resolutions of one meter; while their airborne counterparts obtain resolutions of 10 cm. Certain land surveillance applications such as subsidence monitoring, landslide hazard prediction and tactical target tracking could benefit from improved resolution. The ultimate limitation to the achievable resolution of any imaging system is its wavelength. State-of-the-art SAR systems are approaching this limit. The natural extension to improve resolution is to thus decrease the wavelength, i.e. design a synthetic aperture system in a different wavelength regime. One such system offering the potential for vastly improved resolution is Synthetic Aperture Ladar (SAL). This system operates at infrared wavelengths, ten thousand times smaller radar wavelengths. This paper presents a SAL platform based on the INO Master Oscillator with Programmable Amplitude Waveform (MOPAW) laser that has a wavelength sweep of Δλ=1.22 nm, a pulse repetition rate up to 1 kHz and up to 200 μJ per pulse. The results for SAL 2D imagery at a range of 10 m are presented, indicating a reflectance sensibility of 8 %, ground-range and azimuth resolution of 1.7 mm and 0.84 mm respectively.
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Simon Turbide, Linda Marchese, Alain Bergeron, Louis Desbiens, Patrick Paradis, "Synthetic aperture ladar based on a MOPAW laser", Proc. SPIE 10005, Earth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications VII, 1000502 (18 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2242232; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2242232
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