9 June 2014 Using an eyesafe military laser range finder for atmospheric sensing
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Laser Rangefinders are well established components in various electro-optical fire control systems. Recent range finders are often operating at eye safe wavelengths around 1.5 μm which extend their utility. One such extension is the use of the sensor for atmospheric sensing based on the measured backscatter signal. The present paper investigates the use of an eye-safe laser rangefinder at 1.5 μm to obtain information on atmospheric attenuation at various paths in the atmosphere. This knowledge can in turn be used in combination with atmospheric and target/background models to estimate the performance of other EO sensors like TV and thermal imagers beside the laser range finder itself. Such information can be of great value both for estimating own sensor capabilities at a given moment as well as estimating the threat capability. One obvious example is ship defense where it is difficult to obtain visibility along a variable atmosphere especially in darkness. The paper will describe the experimental equipment and the results from measurements of atmospheric backscatter along various atmospheric paths. The backscatter curve is used to evaluate the extinction. This extinction values are compared with those deduced from a point visibility meter and from echo measurements against two similar nets positioned at 2 ranges from the sensor. The results indicated a good correspondence between these results. Finally the results are illustrated in a system perspective by estimating the performance for thermal IR and other EO sensors.
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Ove Steinvall, Ove Steinvall, Rolf Persson, Rolf Persson, Folke Berglund, Folke Berglund, Ove K. S. Gustafsson, Ove K. S. Gustafsson, Frank Gustafsson, Frank Gustafsson, } "Using an eyesafe military laser range finder for atmospheric sensing", Proc. SPIE 9080, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XIX; and Atmospheric Propagation XI, 90800W (9 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2049044; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2049044


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