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Optical Engineering

Active three-dimensional and thermal imaging with a 30-μm pitch 320×256 HgCdTe avalanche photodiode focal plane array
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Paper Abstract

Three-dimensional (3-D) flash light detection and ranging (LADAR) imaging is based on time of flight (TOF) measurement of a single laser pulse. The laser pulse coming back from the observed object will be detected only if the number of photons received by each pixel generates a signal greater than the pixel noise. In order to extract this weak photonic signal from the noise we use the high gain and low excess noise of the HgCdTe avalanche photodiode (APD) arrays developed at CEA/LETI. The sensor consists of a 30-μm pitch APD detector array hybridized to a 320×256  pixels ROIC for passive and active imaging. In passive mode the focal plane array behaves like a thermal imager and we measured 30 mK of noise-equivalent temperature difference. In active imaging mode, each pixel sensed the time of flight and the intensity two-dimensional (2-D) of a single laser pulse. Laboratory tests show a range noise of 11 cm for 4300 photoelectrons per pixel and detection limit under 100 photoelectrons. The sensor was also used during a field trial to record 2-D and 3-D real-time videos. The quality of the images obtained demonstrates the maturity of HgCdTe-APD-array technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 51(6) 061305 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.51.6.061305
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 51, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Eric D. De Borniol, CEA-LETI-Minatec (France)
Johan Rothman, CEA-LETI-Minatec (France)
Fabrice Guellec, CEA-LETI-Minatec (France)
Gautier Vojetta, CEA-LETI-Minatec (France)
Gérard Destéfanis, CEA-LETI-Minatec (France)
Olivier Pacaud, SOFRADIR (France)

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