18 May 2016 Low-cost chirp linearization for long-range ISAL imaging application
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High quality linear laser frequency chirp of high chirp rate is critical to many laser ranging applications. In this paper, we describe a cost-effective chirp linearization approach implemented on our Inverse synthetic Aperture LADAR (ISAL) imaging testbed. Our approach uses a COTS PZT for external cavity laser frequency tuning and a common self-heterodyne fiber interferometer as a frequency monitor, with a two-step hardware and software chirp linearization procedure to achieve high quality chirp. First, the nominal triangle waveform input to PZT drive is modified through an iterative process prior to ISAL imaging acquisition. Several waveforms with chirp rates between 1 and 4THz/s have been acquired with residual chirp rate error ~ +/-2% in usable region. This process generally needs to be done only once for a typical PZT that has excellent repeatability but poor linearity. The modified waveform is then used during ISAL imaging acquisition without active control while the imperfection in transmitted frequency is monitored. The received imaging data is resampled digitally based on frequency error calculated from the frequency monitor data, effectively reduce chirp nonlinearity to ~+/- 0.2% in chirp rate error. The measured system impulse response from return signal shows near designed range resolution of a few mm, demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach.
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Hanying Zhou, Hanying Zhou, Bijan Nemati, Bijan Nemati, Mike Shao, Mike Shao, Chengxing Zhai, Chengxing Zhai, Inseob Hahn, Inseob Hahn, William Schulze, William Schulze, Russell Trahan, Russell Trahan, "Low-cost chirp linearization for long-range ISAL imaging application", Proc. SPIE 9846, Long-Range Imaging, 98460D (18 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2224122; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2224122

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