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Proceedings Paper

Resolution limits in imaging LADAR systems
Author(s): Jed Khoury; Charles L. Woods; Joseph P. Lorenzo; John Kierstead; Dana Pyburn; S. K. Sengupta
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, we introduce a new design concept of laser radar systems that combines both phase comparison and time-of-flight methods. We show from signal to noise ration considerations that there is a fundamental limit to the overall resolution in 3-D imaging range laser radar (LADAR). We introduce a new metric, volume of resolution (VOR), and we show from quantum noise considerations, that there is a maximum resolution volume, that can be achieved, for a given set of system parameters. Consequently, there is a direct tradeoff between range resolution and spatial resolution. Thus in a LADAR system, range resolution may be maximized at the expense of spatial image resolution and vice versa. We introduce resolution efficiency, ηr, as a new figure of merit for LADAR, that describes system resolution under the constraints of a specific design, compared to its optimal resolution performance derived from quantum noise considerations. We analyze how the resolution efficiency could be utilized to improve the resolution performance of a LADAR system. Our analysis could be extended to all LADAR systems, regardless of whether they are flash imaging or scanning laser systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5437, Optical Pattern Recognition XV, (12 April 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.548077
Show Author Affiliations
Jed Khoury, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Charles L. Woods, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Joseph P. Lorenzo, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
John Kierstead, Solid State Scientific Corp. (United States)
Dana Pyburn, Univ. of Massachusetts/Lowell (United States)
S. K. Sengupta, Univ. of Massachusetts/Lowell (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5437:
Optical Pattern Recognition XV
David P. Casasent; Tien-Hsin Chao, Editor(s)

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