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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 9 — Apr. 26, 2010
  • pp: 9192–9206

Resolving range ambiguity in a photon counting depth imager operating at kilometer distances

Nils J. Krichel, Aongus McCarthy, and Gerald S. Buller  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 9, pp. 9192-9206 (2010)

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Time-correlated single-photon counting techniques have recently been used in ranging and depth imaging systems that are based on time-of-flight measurements. These systems transmit low average power pulsed laser signals and measure the scattered return photons. The use of periodic laser pulses means that absolute ranges can only be measured unambiguously at low repetition rates (typically <100 kHz for > 1 km) to ensure that only one pulse is in transit at any instant. We demonstrate the application of a pseudo-random pattern matching technique to a scanning rangefinder system using GHz base clock rates, permitting the acquisition of unambiguous, three-dimensional images at average pulse rates equivalent to >10 MHz. Depth images with centimeter distance uncertainty at ranges between 50 m and 4.4 km are presented.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(030.5260) Coherence and statistical optics : Photon counting
(030.5290) Coherence and statistical optics : Photon statistics
(040.3780) Detectors : Low light level
(110.6880) Imaging systems : Three-dimensional image acquisition
(120.3930) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrological instrumentation
(280.3400) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser range finder

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: February 23, 2010
Revised Manuscript: April 8, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: April 12, 2010
Published: April 16, 2010

Nils J. Krichel, Aongus McCarthy, and Gerald S. Buller, "Resolving range ambiguity in a photon counting depth imager operating at kilometer distances," Opt. Express 18, 9192-9206 (2010)

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