Sub-pixel micro scanning for improved spatial resolution using single-photon LiDAR

Ewan Wade, Rachael Tobin*, Aongus McCarthy, Gerald S. Buller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)
250 Downloads (Pure)


We present a method of improving the spatial resolution of a single-photon counting light detection and ranging system using a sub-pixel micro-scanning approach. The time-correlated single-photon counting technique was used to measure photon time-of-flight from remote objects. The high-sensitivity and picosecond timing resolution of this approach allows for high-resolution depth and intensity information to be obtained from targets with very low average optical power levels. The system comprised a picosecond pulsed laser source operated at a wavelength of 1550 nm and a 32 × 32 InGaAs/InP single-photon avalanche diode detector array. The detector array was translated along two orthogonal axes in the image plane of the receive channel objective lens using two computer-controlled motorized translation stages. This allowed for sub-pixel scanning, resulting in a composite image of the scene with improved spatial resolution. This paper presents preliminary measurements of depth and intensity profiles taken at stand-off distances of approximately 2.5 meters in laboratory conditions using average optical power levels in the micro-watt regime. A standard test chart was used to evaluate the resolving power of the system for both standard and micro-scanned images to assess performance improvements in spatial resolution. Depth profiles of targets were also obtained to investigate improvements in resolving small details and the quality of target edges.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Photon Counting Techniques XV
EditorsMark A. Itzler, Joshua C. Bienfang, K. Alex McIntosh
ISBN (Electronic)9781510642805
ISBN (Print)9781510642799
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2021
EventSPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 12 Apr 202116 Apr 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • LiDAR
  • Low-light
  • Micro-scanning
  • Single-photon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Sub-pixel micro scanning for improved spatial resolution using single-photon LiDAR'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this