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29 April 2010 Physical modeling of 3D and 4D laser imaging
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Laser imaging offers potential for observation, for 3D terrain-mapping and classification as well as for target identification, including behind vegetation, camouflage or glass windows, at day and night, and under all-weather conditions. First generation systems deliver 3D point clouds. The threshold detection is largely affected by the local opto-geometric characteristics of the objects, leading to inaccuracies in the distances measured, and by partial occultation, leading to multiple echos. Second generation systems circumvent these limitations by recording the temporal waveforms received by the system, so that data processing can improve the telemetry and the point cloud better match the reality. Future algorithms may exploit the full potential of the 4D full-waveform data. Hence, being able to simulate point-cloud (3D) and full-waveform (4D) laser imaging is key. We have developped a numerical model for predicting the output data of 3D or 4D laser imagers. The model does account for the temporal and transverse characteristics of the laser pulse (i.e. of the "laser bullet") emitted by the system, its propagation through turbulent and scattering atmosphere, its interaction with the objects present in the field of view, and the characteristics of the optoelectronic reception path of the system.
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Guillaume Anna, Dominique Hamoir, Laurent Hespel, Fabien Lafay, Nicolas Rivière, and Bernard Tanguy "Physical modeling of 3D and 4D laser imaging", Proc. SPIE 7684, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XV, 768415 (29 April 2010);

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