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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Vol. 41, Iss. 9 — Mar. 20, 2002
  • pp: 1750–1759

Simulation Study for Cloud Detection with Space Lidars by Use of Analog Detection Photomultiplier Tubes

Zhaoyan Liu and Nobuo Sugimoto  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 41, Issue 9, pp. 1750-1759 (2002)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.41.001750


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Abstract

Output signal electrons from photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) have neither a Gaussian nor a Poisson distribution because of changes induced by multiplication when the number of input signal photons and dark electrons is fewer than ~100. Therefore the assumption of a Gaussian distribution of signal electrons cannot be used in simulations for space lidar observations with PMTs, for which the number of return signal photons is normally small. A theory is introduced for analog detection with PMTs that have Poisson-distributed secondary-electron emission at each dynode stage. The theory is validated by straightforward numerical simulations. It is shown that the multiplication in PMTs is a multiply stochastic Poisson process and that the distribution of output signal electrons can be interpreted basically as Neyman type A. Analysis by the threshold method of cloud detection with a space lidar shows considerable difference between a Gaussian approximation and the exact distribution. The result indicates that the threshold level must be optimized for the exact distribution. Return signals were simulated for a proposed space lidar, and cloud detection with the threshold method was demonstrated.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(040.5250) Detectors : Photomultipliers
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar

Citation
Zhaoyan Liu and Nobuo Sugimoto, "Simulation Study for Cloud Detection with Space Lidars by Use of Analog Detection Photomultiplier Tubes," Appl. Opt. 41, 1750-1759 (2002)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-41-9-1750


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