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6 May 2013 Photon counting Lidar for deep space applications: demonstrator design
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The paper presents design of a single photon lidar device suitable for space-borne applications. The device is composed of radiation tolerant components or components that have a radiation tolerant equivalent. The design is modular so that the same core can be utilized for several photon counting applications including laser altimeter, atmospheric lidar, laser transponder or one-way laser ranging receiver. The transmitter consists of a pulsed solid state diode pumped microchip Nd:YAG laser with second harmonic generator operating at 532 nm. Several laser versions may be employed { an externally triggered laser with repetition rate of up to 4 kHz or a free-running laser at 10 kHz. The receiver is equipped with a 1nm bandwidth optical band-pass interference filter and an active quenched SPAD detection module. A radiation tolerant K14 SPAD detector package developed at Czech Technical University with resolution of 20 ps rms is foreseen for space applications. Alternatively, commercial SPAD module lacking the radiation tolerance with higher detection efficiency can be used in air-borne or ground applications. The core module based on a radiation tolerant FPGA is reaching a timing precision of 30 ps. The overall ranging performance of the device is as good as 5 cm resolution for ranges of several kilometers. Besides the design and construction of the device, some performance test results will be presented.
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Vojtech Michálek, Michael Vacek, Ivan Procházka, Josef Blazej, and Marek Peca "Photon counting Lidar for deep space applications: demonstrator design", Proc. SPIE 8773, Photon Counting Applications IV; and Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing, 87730M (6 May 2013);

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