21 August 2003 Advanced 3D polarimetric flash ladar imaging through foliage
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Abstract
High-resolution three-dimensional flash ladar system technologies are under development that enables remote identification of vehicles and armament hidden by heavy tree canopies. We have developed a sensor architecture and design that employs a 3D flash ladar receiver to address this mission. The receiver captures 128×128×>30 three-dimensional images for each laser pulse fired. The voxel size of the image is 3”×3”×4” at the target location. A novel signal-processing algorithm has been developed that achieves sub-voxel (sub-inch) range precision estimates of target locations within each pixel. Polarization discrimination is implemented to augment the target-to-foliage contrast. When employed, this method improves the range resolution of the system beyond the classical limit (based on pulsewidth and detection bandwidth). Experiments were performed with a 6 ns long transmitter pulsewidth that demonstrate 1-inch range resolution of a tank-like target that is occluded by foliage and a range precision of 0.3” for unoccluded targets.
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James T. Murray, Steven E. Moran, Nicolas Roddier, Richard Vercillo, Robert Bridges, William Austin, "Advanced 3D polarimetric flash ladar imaging through foliage", Proc. SPIE 5086, Laser Radar Technology and Applications VIII, (21 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.501612; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.501612
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