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

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Abstract

Time-correlated single-photon counting techniques have recently been used in ranging and depth imaging systems that are based on time-offlight 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 Optical Society of America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9192-9206
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2010

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