13 May 2016 Laser range profiling for small target recognition
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The detection and classification of small surface and airborne targets at long ranges is a growing need for naval security. Long range ID or ID at closer range of small targets has its limitations in imaging due to the demand on very high transverse sensor resolution. It is therefore motivated to look for 1D laser techniques for target ID. These include vibrometry, and laser range profiling. Vibrometry can give good results but is also sensitive to certain vibrating parts on the target being in the field of view. Laser range profiling is attractive because the maximum range can be substantial, especially for a small laser beam width. A range profiler can also be used in a scanning mode to detect targets within a certain sector. The same laser can also be used for active imaging when the target comes closer and is angular resolved. The present paper will show both experimental and simulated results for laser range profiling of small boats out to 6-7 km range and a UAV mockup at close range (1.3 km). We obtained good results with the profiling system both for target detection and recognition. Comparison of experimental and simulated range waveforms based on CAD models of the target support the idea of having a profiling system as a first recognition sensor and thus narrowing the search space for the automatic target recognition based on imaging at close ranges. The naval experiments took place in the Baltic Sea with many other active and passive EO sensors beside the profiling system. Discussion of data fusion between laser profiling and imaging systems will be given. The UAV experiments were made from the rooftop laboratory at FOI.
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Ove Steinvall, Ove Steinvall, Michael Tulldahl, Michael Tulldahl, "Laser range profiling for small target recognition", Proc. SPIE 9832, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXI, 98320E (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223754; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223754

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