In Synthetic aperture imaging ladar (SAIL), the polarization state change of the backscattered light will affect the imaging. Polarization state of the reflected field is always determined by the interaction of the light and the materials on the target plane. The Stokes parameters, which can provide the information on both light intensity and polarization state, are the ideal quantities for characterizing the above features. In this paper, a measurement system of the polarization characteristic for the SAIL target materials is designed. The measurement results are expected to be useful in target identification and recognition.
The design and laboratory experiment of a demonstrator of all-optronic down-looking synthetic aperture imaging ladar
(SAL) is presented in this paper, in which the sensing-to-processing chain is carried out with light. The ultra-fast
processing capability from image acquisition to real-time reconstruction is shown. The demonstrator consists of a
down-looking SAL unit with a beam scanner and an optical processor. The down-looking SAL unit has a transmitter of
two coaxial orthogonally polarized beams and a receiver of polarization-interference self-heterodyne balanced detection.
The linear phase modulation and the quadratic phase history are produced by the projection of movable cylindrical lenses.
Three functions of strip-map mode, spotlight mode and static mode are available. The optical processor is an astigmatic
optical system, which reduces to a Fourier transform system and a free-space of the Fresnel diffraction to realize the
matched filtering. A spatial light modulator is used as the input interface. The experiment is performed with an optical
collimator. The system design is given, too. The down-looking SAL has the features such as a big coverage with an
enhanced receiving aperture and little influence from atmospheric turbulence and the optical processor is simple.
The implementation of down-looking Synthetic Aperture Imaging Ladar(SAIL) uses quadratic phase history reconstruction in the travel direction and linear phase modulation reconstruction in the orthogonal direction. And the linear phase modulation in the orthogonal direction is generated by the shift of two cylindrical lenses in the two polarization-orthogonal beams. Therefore, the fast-moving of two cylindrical lenses is necessary for airborne down-looking SAIL to match the aircraft flight speed and to realize the compression of the orthogonal direction, but the quick start and the quick stop of the cylindrical lenses must greatly damage the motor and make the motion trail non-uniform. To reduce the damage and get relatively well trajectory, we make the motor move like a sinusoidal curve to make it more realistic movement, and through a resampling interpolation imaging algorithm, we can transform the nonlinear phase to linear phase, and get good reconstruction results of point target and area target in laboratory. The influences on imaging quality in different sampling positions when the motor make a sinusoidal motion and the necessity of the algorithm are analyzed. At last, we perform a comparison of the results of two cases in resolution.
Down-looking synthetic aperture imaging ladar(SAIL) has overcome many difficulties in side-looking SAIL. However, it is inevitably impacted by the speckle effect. There is temporally varying speckle effect due to the angular deflecting of two coaxial polarization-orthogonal beams transmitted in the orthogonal direction of travel, and a spatial varying speckle effect in the travel direction. Under the coaxial heterodyne, phase variations caused by speckle effect are compensated, leaving the amplitude variations of speckle field. In this paper, the speckle effect in the down-looking SAIL is analyzed, expressions for two-dimensional data collection contained speckle effect are obtained and the two-dimensional image influenced by speckle effect is simulated.
Synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) can gain three-dimensional topography with high spatial resolution and height accuracy using across track interferometry. Conventional InSAR produce three-dimensional images from SAR data. But when the working wavelength transit from microwave to optical wave, the transmission antenna and receive antenna become very sensitive to platform vibration and beam quality. Through differential receive antenna formation, we can relax the requirement of platform and laser using synthetic aperture imaging ladar (SAIL) concept. Line-of-sight motion constraints are reduced by several orders of magnitude. We introduce two distinctive forms of antenna formation according to the position of interferogram. The first architecture can simplify the interferogram processing and phase extraction algorithm under time-division multiplex operation. The second architecture can process the 2D coordinate and height coordinate at the same time. Using optical diffraction theory, a systematic theory of side-looking SAIL is mathematically formulated and the necessary conditions for assuring a correct phase history are established. Based on optical transformation and regulation of wavefront, a side-looking SAIL of two distinctive architectures is invented and the basic principle, systematic theory, design equations and necessary conditions are presented. It is shown that high height accuracy can be reached and the influences from atmospheric turbulence and unmodeled line-of-sight motion can be automatically compensated.
Compared to synthetic aperture radar (SAR), synthetic aperture imaging ladar (SAIL) is more sensitive to the phase errors induced by atmospheric turbulence, undesirable line-of-sight translation-vibration and waveform phase error, because the light wavelength is about 3-6 orders of magnitude less than that of the radio frequency. This phase errors will deteriorate the imaging results. In this paper, an algorithm based on low-pass filtering to suppress the phase error is proposed. In this algorithm, the azimuth quadratic phase history with phase error is compensated, then the fast Fourier transform (FFT) is performed in azimuth direction, after the low-pass filtering, the inverse FFT is performed, then the image is reconstructed simultaneously in the range and azimuth direction by the two-dimensional (2D) FFT. The highfrequency phase error can be effectively eliminated hence the imaging results can be optimized by this algorithm. The mathematical analysis by virtue of data-collection equation of side-looking SAIL is presented. The theoretical modeling results are also given. In addition, based on this algorithm, a principle scheme of optical processor is proposed. The verified experiment is performed employing the data obtained from a SAIL demonstrator.
The synthetic aperture imaging ladar (SAIL) systems typically generate large amounts of data difficult to compress with digital method. This paper presents an optical SAIL processor based on compensation of quadratic phase of echo in azimuth direction and two dimensional Fourier transform. The optical processor mainly consists of one phase-only liquid crystal spatial modulator(LCSLM) to load the phase data of target echo and one cylindrical lens to compensate the quadratic phase and one spherical lens to fulfill the task of two dimensional Fourier transform. We show the imaging processing result of practical target echo obtained by a synthetic aperture imaging ladar demonstrator. The optical processor is compact and lightweight and could provide inherent parallel and the speed-of-light computing capability, it has a promising application future especially in onboard and satellite borne SAIL systems.
As synthetic aperture imaging ladar employs the linear chirp laser signal, it is inevitably impacted by the space-time varying speckle effect. In many SAIL two-dimensional reconstructed images, the laser speckle effect severely reduces the image quality. In this paper, we analyze and simulate the influence of space-time speckle effect to the resolution element imaging both in range direction and in azimuth direction. Expressions for two-dimensional data collection contained space-time speckle effect are obtained, and computer simulation results of resolution degradation both in range direction and in cross-range direction are presented.