We have developed a three-dimensional imaging laser radar featuring 3-cm range resolution and single-photon sensitivity. This prototype direct-detection laser radar employs compact, all-solid-state technology for the laser and detector array. The source is a Nd:YAG microchip laser that is diode pumped, passively <i>Q</i>-switched, and frequency doubled. The detector is a gated, passively quenched, two-dimensional array of silicon avalanche photodiodes operating in Geiger mode. After describing the system in detail, we present a three-dimensional image, derive performance characteristics, and discuss our plans for future imaging three-dimensional laser radars.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(110.6880) Imaging systems : Three-dimensional image acquisition
(120.0280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Remote sensing and sensors
(280.3420) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser sensors
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar
Marius A. Albota, Richard M. Heinrichs, David G. Kocher, Daniel G. Fouche, Brian E. Player, Michael E. OBrien, Brian F. Aull, John J. Zayhowski, James Mooney, Berton C. Willard, and Robert R. Carlson, "Three-dimensional imaging laser radar with a photon-counting avalanche photodiode array and microchip laser," Appl. Opt. 41, 7671-7678 (2002)