We describe a new multi-spectral system for range profiling and surface characterization based on time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC). This system has six laser diode sources with discrete wavelengths in the range 630-972 nm arranged around the circumference of the aperture of a receiving Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that focuses the multiple wavelength return onto an optical fibre. Single photon avalanche diodes are used to detect the six independent wavelength channels, separated by an optical routing module. We also describe two methods for detecting the numbers, positions, heights and shape parameters of signal returns in the spectra returned from several surfaces within the sensor field of view. The first method has two principal stages, non-parametric bump hunting and maximum likelihood estimation using Poisson statistics. Recently we have adopted a reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo approach that has the potential for better detecting hidden or closely overlapping returns. © 2005 IOP Publishing Ltd.
- Bump hunting
- Markov chain Monte Carlo
- Maximum likelihood estimation
- Photon counting