Depth and intensity profiling of targets at a range of up to 10 km is demonstrated using time-of-flight time-correlated single-photon counting technique. The system comprised a pulsed laser source at 1550 nm wavelength, a monostatic scanning transceiver and a single-element InGaAs/InP single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detector. High-resolution three-dimensional images of various targets acquired over ranges between 800 metres and 10.5 km demonstrate long-range depth and intensity profiling, feature extraction and the potential for target recognition. Using a total variation restoration optimization algorithm, the acquisition time necessary for each pixel could be reduced by at least a factor of ten compared to a pixel-wise image processing approach. Kilometer range depth profiles are reconstructed with average signal returns of less than one photon per pixel.
Pawlikowska, A. M., Halimi, A., Lamb, R. A., & Buller, G. S. (2017). Single-photon three-dimensional imaging at up to 10 kilometers range. Optics Express, 25(10), 11919-11931. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.25.011919