Custom-Technology Single-Photon Avalanche Diode Linear Detector Array for Underwater Depth Imaging

Aurora Maccarone, Giulia Acconcia, Ulrich Steinlehner, Ivan Labanca, Darryl Newborough, Ivan Rech, Gerald Stuart Buller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
660 Downloads (Pure)


We present an optical depth imaging system suitable for highly scattering underwater environments. The system used the time correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) technique and the time-of-flight approach to obtain depth profiles. The single-photon detection was provided by a linear array of single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detectors fabricated in a customized silicon fabrication technology for optimized efficiency, dark count rate, and jitter performance. The bistatic transceiver comprised a pulsed laser diode source with central wavelength 670 nm, a linear array of 16 × 1 Si- SPAD detectors, with a dedicated TCSPC acquisition module. Cylindrical lenses were used to collect the light scattered by the target and image it onto the sensor. These laboratory-based experiments demonstrated single photon depth imaging at a range of 1.65 m in highly scattering conditions, equivalent up to 8.3 attenuation lengths between the system and the target, using average optical powers of up to 15 mW. The depth and spatial resolution of this sensor were investigated in different scattering conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4850
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2021


  • 3D imaging
  • Custom technology
  • SPAD
  • Single-photon
  • Underwater imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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