Geiger mode single-photon detectors have been used in pulse ranging system and three-dimensional imaging systems due to high sensitivity and easy integration. The ranging accuracy and precision is influenced by many factors. Based on statistical theory, five main factors are discussed in this article, namely, echo signal intensity, pulse width, detector quantum efficiency, target position, and background noise. An analytical relationship among the ranging accuracy, precision, and these factors is obtained for a Q-switched laser pulse. Through this relationship, it is shown that the echo signal intensity and pulse width are more important than other factors and higher echo signal intensity and narrower pulse width can result in better accuracy and precision.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 24, 2010
Revised Manuscript: August 13, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: September 8, 2010
Published: October 5, 2010
Fei Wang, Yuan Zhao, Yu Zhang, and Xiudong Sun, "Range accuracy limitation of pulse ranging systems based on Geiger mode single-photon detectors," Appl. Opt. 49, 5561-5566 (2010)