19 May 2006 Photon counting chirped AM ladar: concept, simulation, and initial experimental results
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Abstract
In ARL's current chirped amplitude modulation (AM) ladar prototypes using unity gain solid state detectors, amplifier noise limits the receiver sensitivity. This noise is well above the signal shot noise limit. We are developing a method using Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (Gm-APD) photon counting detectors in the chirped AM ladar receiver to yield sensitivities approaching the signal shot noise limit. This method is based on the fact that the chirped AM waveform that modulates the transmitted laser power also modulates the average photon arrival rate at the receiver with a delay corresponding to the round-trip time between the transceiver and the target. We present the concept, and computer and electronic simulation results for ARL's chirped AM ladar operating with a photon counting receiver. We also present the design and initial results of the proof-of-principle laboratory optical experiment that we recently performed. The simulation and experimental results predict significant improvements in the ladar's receiver sensitivity.
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Brian Redman, Brian Redman, William Ruff, William Ruff, Mark Giza, Mark Giza, } "Photon counting chirped AM ladar: concept, simulation, and initial experimental results", Proc. SPIE 6214, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XI, 62140P (19 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.667117; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.667117
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