3 December 2014 A high resolution laser ranging system based on time-correlated single-photon counting technology
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Abstract
Laser ranging has become an important method for both distance measurements and acquisition of threedimensional (3D) images. In this paper, a laser ranging system based on Time-Correlated Single-Photon Counting technology (TCSPC) is developed. A Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (G-APD), which has the ability of detecting single-photon events, is used to capture the weak light scattered from the long-range target. In order to improve the ranging resolution of TCSPC based measurement system, a high repetition frequency of subnanosecond narrow pulse generator circuit based on the avalanche effect of RF-BJT is designed and applied as the light source. Moreover, some optimized optical light designs have been done to improve the system signal to noise rate (SNR), including using a special aspherical lens as projecting lens, adopting a telephoto camera lens with small view angle and short depth of field before detector. Experimental tests for evaluation of the laser raging system performance are described. As a means of echo signal analysis, three different algorithms have been introduced, in which the cross-correlation algorithm was demonstrated to be the most effective algorithm to determining the round trip time to a target, even based on histograms with a significant amount of background noise photons. It was found that centimeter ranging resolution can be achieved thanks to the use of Time-to-Digital Converter (TDC) with picosecond resolution and the Cross-Correlation algorithm. The proposed laser ranging system has advantages of high range resolution, short response time and simple structure, which was potential applications for 3D object recognition, computer vision, reverse engineering and virtual reality.
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Yixin Yang, Huanqin Wang, Zhe Huang, Yangyang Cao, Huaqiao Gui, "A high resolution laser ranging system based on time-correlated single-photon counting technology", Proc. SPIE 9297, International Symposium on Optoelectronic Technology and Application 2014: Laser and Optical Measurement Technology; and Fiber Optic Sensors, 92970H (3 December 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2070614; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2070614
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