16 April 2010 MIMO based optical phased array technology with electronic beam steering for laser radar applications
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Abstract
This paper will address the analysis and design of an electronically scanned phased array laser radar (ladar) system utilizing the techniques of multi-input multi-output (MIMO) array design. MIMO radar is has attracted much attention recently from both researchers and practitioners alike due to its significant potential for advancing the state-of-the-art RF radar technology. The laser radar architecture presented stands to gain significant inroads on the ability to apply RF array processing methods to laser radar systems in several ways. Specifically, using MIMO array design concepts, it is shown that the resolution of the ladar array can substantially exceed the diffraction limited resolution of a conventional array. Additionally, the use of array methods provides the capability to electronically steer the aperture, thus avoiding the mechanical beam scanning methods generally encountered in laser radar systems. Finally, by using an array of radiators, an increase in total radiated power is achieved, relieving the power burden on a single laser. The problems traditionally encountered in applying conventional array techniques to laser/detector arrays, for example, the inability to achieve half-wavelength spacing or the surfacing of source coherence issues, actually work to one's advantage when viewed in the MIMO paradigm. It is anticipated that the successful implementation of this system will significantly advance the state-of-the-art of laser radar capabilities for high speed imaging, target detection, tracking, and signature analysis.
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Neha Sharma, Henry Zmuda, "MIMO based optical phased array technology with electronic beam steering for laser radar applications", Proc. SPIE 7700, Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications VI, 77000E (16 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.852602; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.852602
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