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25 October 2012 A new time-to-digital converter for the 3D imaging Lidar
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In order to reduce the negative influence caused by the temperature and voltage variations of the FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), we propose a new FPGA-based time-to-digital converter. The proposed converter adopts a high-stability TCXO (Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator), a FPGA and a new algorithm, which can significantly decrease the negative influence due to the FPGA temperature and voltage variations. This paper introduces the principle of measurement, main framework, delayer chain structure and delay variation compensation method of the proposed converter, and analyzes its measurement precision and the maximum measurement frequency. The proposed converter is successfully implemented with a Cyclone I FPGA chip and a TCXO. And the implementation method is discussed in detail. The measurement precision of the converter is also validated by experiments. The results show that the mean measurement error is less than 260 ps, the standard deviation is less than 300 ps, and the maximum measurement frequency is above 10 million times per second. The precision and frequency of measurement for the proposed converter are adequate for the 3D imaging lidar (light detection and ranging). As well as the 3D imaging lidar, the converter can be applied to the pulsed laser range finder and other time interval measuring areas.
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Chunsheng Hu, Zongsheng Huang, Shiqiao Qin, and Feng Hu "A new time-to-digital converter for the 3D imaging Lidar", Proc. SPIE 8538, Earth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications III, 85380D (25 October 2012);

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