19 May 2015 Atmospheric aerosol and molecular backscatter imaging effects on direct detection LADAR
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Abstract
Backscatter from atmospheric aerosols and molecular nitrogen and oxygen causes “clutter” noise in direct detection ladar applications operating within the atmosphere. The backscatter clutter is more pronounced in multiple pulse, high PRF ladars where pulse-averaging is used to increase operating range. As more and more pulses are added to the wavetrain the backscatter increases. We analyze the imaging of a transmitted Gaussian laser-mode multi-pulse wave-train scatteried off of aerosols and molecules at the focal plane including angular-slew rate resulting from optical tracking, angular lead-angle, and bistatic-optics spatial separation. The defocused backscatter images, from those pulses closest to the receiver, are analyzed using a simple geometrical optics approximation. Methods for estimating the aerosol number density versus altitude and the volume backscatter coefficient of the aerosols are also discussed.
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Douglas G. Youmans, Douglas G. Youmans, } "Atmospheric aerosol and molecular backscatter imaging effects on direct detection LADAR", Proc. SPIE 9465, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XX; and Atmospheric Propagation XII, 94650B (19 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2176714; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2176714
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