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10 May 2011 Long range target discrimination using UV fluorescence
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An active imaging system using UV fluorescence for target discrimination is proposed. The emission wavelength is characteristic of the target material and allows spectral discrimination of targets from clutter. The burst-illumination-LIDAR system transmits a laser pulse and the fluorescent return is detected with a synchronised gated imaging receiver. The short gate length (~ns) allowed by a micro-channel plate CCD reduces solar clutter. Detector noise is not the limiting factor because of the high MCP-CCD detectivity. Laser choice is constrained by the required laser pulse energy, laser size and robustness. The COTS solution identified is a diode-pumped, 4th harmonic converted, 1064nm laser. Nd:YAG, Nd:YLF and Nd:Alexandrite lasers have superior performance but require some development for this application. A pessimistic range model evaluates the optical powers. Comparison of the received fluorescent energy to the detector noise equivalent energy and the solar energy received provides the detection range limit. Performance of the proposed systems exceeds the detection range requirement for all samples evaluated and all varying conditions explored. The lowest range is for black paint with the COTS laser system and is 2860m; the best ranges exceed 5km.
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Mark Bray and Jason Lepley "Long range target discrimination using UV fluorescence", Proc. SPIE 8037, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XVI, 803702 (10 May 2011);

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