18 May 2016 Low-CNR inverse synthetic aperture LADAR imaging demonstration with atmospheric turbulence
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An Inverse Synthetic Aperture LADAR (ISAL) system is capable of providing high resolution surface mapping of near Earth objects which is an ability that has gained significant interest for both exploration and hazard assessment. The use of an ISAL system over these long distances often presents the need to operate the optical system in photon-starved conditions. This leads to a necessity to understand the implications of photon and detector noise in the system. Here a Carrier-to-Noise Ratio is derived which is similar to other optical imaging CNR definitions. The CNR value is compared to the quality of experimentally captured images recovered using the Phase Gradient Autofocus technique both with and without the presence of atmospheric turbulence. A minimum return signal CNR for the PGA to work is observed.
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R. Trahan, R. Trahan, B. Nemati, B. Nemati, H. Zhou, H. Zhou, M. Shao, M. Shao, I. Hahn, I. Hahn, W. Schulze, W. Schulze, "Low-CNR inverse synthetic aperture LADAR imaging demonstration with atmospheric turbulence", Proc. SPIE 9846, Long-Range Imaging, 98460E (18 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2224322; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2224322

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