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Proceedings Paper

Numerical simulations of the relative performance of streak-tube, range-gated, and PMT-based airborne imaging lidar systems with realistic sea surfaces
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Paper Abstract

Our previous comparisons of the SNR and resolving power of various lidar approaches used modulation transfer functions to estimate the effects of surface waves. That technique yields statistical performance estimates, but gives little insight into the appearance of individual images. This paper presents a complementary method, simulating images for the various systems. The images are generated with a numerical code combining ray tracing and small-angle scattering theory with a state-of-the-art, dynamic, surface-wave generator. The resulting images realistically simulate the refractive effects of the ocean waves, providing visual confirmations of our previous analytical results. They demonstrate the excellent contrast of a STIL for high-resolution image classification. However, the superior energy utilization of the LRG approach, makes it a better method for airborne lidar imaging, with an advantage that grows exponentially with depth. Likewise, a compact rectangular array of time- resolved pixels perform search tasks better than does a STIL. These simulations will also allow us to develop optimal strategies for image-by-image processing of LIDAR data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 October 1999
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 3761, Airborne and In-Water Underwater Imaging, (28 October 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.366474
Show Author Affiliations
Michael James DeWeert, Kaman Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Steven E. Moran, Kaman Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Bobby Lee Ulich, Kaman Aerospace Corp. (United States)
R. Norris Keeler, Kaman Aerospace Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3761:
Airborne and In-Water Underwater Imaging
Gary D. Gilbert, Editor(s)

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