We report, to the best of our knowledge, the first demonstration of heterodyne detection of a glint target using an InGaAs avalanche photodiode detector (APD) array in the Geiger mode. Due to the finite number of pixels, all such photon-counting arrays necessarily suffer from saturation effects. At large photon fluxes, saturation of the APD degrades the Doppler frequency resolution and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). We derive analytical expressions for the Doppler resolution and SNR, taking saturation effects into account. The optimal local oscillator power can be obtained numerically from the SNR expression.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 14, 2005
Revised Manuscript: July 27, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: July 27, 2005
Jane X. Luu and Leaf A. Jiang, "Saturation effects in heterodyne detection with Geiger-mode InGaAs avalanche photodiode detector arrays," Appl. Opt. 45, 3798-3804 (2006)