Photon Counting Chirped Amplitude Modulation Ladar

Report No. ARL-TN-305
Authors: Brian C. Redman; Barry L. Stann
Date/Pages: March 2008; 14 pages
Abstract: This work developed a method using Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (GM-APD) photon counting detectors in the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's chirped amplitude modulation (AM) ladar receiver to yield sensitivities approaching the shot noise limit. Such sensitivities represent about four orders-of-magnitude improvement over the sensitivities of the currently used unity-gain, opto-electronic mixing metal-semiconductor-metal detectors. These sensitivity improvements may enable very compact, low power, eye-safe, and/or long-range ladars with low cost, low bandwidth readout integrated circuits for foliage and camouflage penetration, target ID, manned and unmanned ground and air vehicle navigation, three-dimensional face recognition, battle damage assessment, and change detection. Variants of the chirped AM ladar using a GM-APD that is experimentally assembled and tested and the benefits of new single photon counting detector products to the chirped AM ladar architecture are discussed.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2008