17 May 2016 Wide bandwidth optical signals for high range resolution measurements in water
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Measurements with high range resolution are needed to identify underwater threats, especially when two-dimensional contrast information is insufficient to extract object details. The challenge is that optical measurements are limited by scattering phenomena induced by the underwater channel. Back-scatter results in transmitted photons being directed back to the receiver before reaching the target of interest which induces a clutter signal for ranging and a reduction in contrast for imaging. Multiple small-angle scattering (forward-scatter) results in transmitted photons being directed to unintended regions of the target of interest (spatial spreading), while also stretching the temporal profile of a short optical pulse (temporal spreading). Spatial and temporal spreading of the optical signal combine to cause a reduction in range resolution in conventional laser imaging systems. NAVAIR has investigated ways in which wide bandwidth, modulated optical signals can be utilized to improve ranging and imaging performance in turbid water environments. Experimental efforts have been conducted to investigate channel effects on the propagated frequency content, as well as different filtering and processing techniques on the return signals to maximize range resolution. Of particular interest for the modulated pulses are coherent detection and processing techniques employed by the radar community, including methods to reduce sidelobe clutter. This paper will summarize NAVAIR’s work and show that wideband optical signals, in combination with the CLEAN algorithm, can indeed provide enhancements to range resolution and 3D imagery in turbid water environments.
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Justin Nash, Justin Nash, Robert Lee, Robert Lee, Linda Mullen, Linda Mullen, } "Wide bandwidth optical signals for high range resolution measurements in water", Proc. SPIE 9827, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring VIII, 98270A (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2229610; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2229610

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