10 February 2011 RF-modulated pulsed fiber optic lidar transmitter for improved underwater imaging and communications
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Abstract
We present results on the design, development and initial testing of a fiber-optic based RF-modulated lidar transmitter operating at 532nm, for underwater imaging application in littoral waters. The design implementation is based on using state-of-the-art high-speed FPGAs, thereby producing optical waveforms with arbitrary digital-RF-modulated pulse patterns with carrier frequencies ≥ 3GHz, with a repetition rate of 0.5-1MHz, and with average powers ≥5W (at 532nm). Use of RF-modulated bursts above 500MHz, instead of single optical pulse lidar detection, reduces the effect of volumetric backscatter for underwater imaging application, leading to an improved signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) and contrast, for a given range. Initial underwater target detection tests conducted at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, MD, in a large water-tank facility, validates the advantages of this hybrid-lidar-radar (HLR) approach for improved underwater imaging, over a wide range of turbidity levels and both white and black targets. The compact, robust and power-efficient fiber laser architecture lends very well to lidar sensor integration on unmanned-underwater-vehicle (UUV) platforms. HLR transmitters can also provide similar advantages in active-sensing situations dominated by continuous backscatter, e.g. underwater communications, imaging through smoke and fire environment, rotor-craft landing in degraded visual environment, and pointing-tracking of active-EO sensors through fog.
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F. Kimpel, F. Kimpel, Y. Chen, Y. Chen, J.-L. Fouron, J.-L. Fouron, M. Akbulut, M. Akbulut, D. Engin, D. Engin, S. Gupta, S. Gupta, } "RF-modulated pulsed fiber optic lidar transmitter for improved underwater imaging and communications", Proc. SPIE 7924, Atmospheric and Oceanic Propagation of Electromagnetic Waves V, 79240I (10 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.876059; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.876059
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