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Optical Engineering

Using an eye-safe laser rangefinder to assist active and passive electro-optical sensor performance prediction in low visibility conditions
Author(s): Ove Steinvall; Rolf Persson; Folke Berglund; Ove Gustafsson; Johan Öhgren; Frank Gustafsson
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Paper Abstract

Laser rangefinders are used in various electro-optical (EO) fire control systems. They often operate at eye-safe wavelengths around 1.55  μm, which extends their utility. The paper investigates the use of a modified eye-safe laser rangefinder at 1.55  μm to obtain information on atmospheric attenuation and couple that information to the performance of active and passive EO sensors with an emphasis of lower visibility conditions. Such information can be of great value both for estimating own sensor capabilities at a given moment as well as estimating the threat capability. One obvious example is ship defense where it is difficult to obtain visibility along variable and slant atmospheric paths, especially in darkness. The experimental equipment and the results from measurements of atmospheric backscatter along various atmospheric paths are presented. The backscatter curve is used to evaluate the extinction. These extinction values are compared with those deduced from a point visibility meter and from echo measurements against two similar nets positioned at two ranges from the sensor. TV and IR images of test targets along a 1.8 km path close to sea surface in the Baltic Sea were collected in parallel with the lidar. A weather station and a scintillometer collected weather and turbulence parameters. Results correlating the lidar attenuation with the imaging performance will be given.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2015
PDF: 15 pages
Opt. Eng. 54(7) 074103 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.54.7.074103
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 54, Issue 7
Show Author Affiliations
Ove Steinvall, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Rolf Persson, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Folke Berglund, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Ove Gustafsson, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Johan Öhgren, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Frank Gustafsson, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)

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