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Proceedings Paper

Millimeter precision laser ranging using solid state photon counting
Author(s): Ivan Prochazka; Karel Hamal
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Paper Abstract

We are reporting our results in research and development in the field of avalanche semiconductor single photon detectors and their application in high precision laser ranging during the last 20 years. Our objectives where: avalanche detector structure, sensitive area diameters exceeding 50 microns, active quenching and gating electronic circuit, high timing resolution and rugged design. Avalanche photodiodes specifically designed for photon counting devices have been developed on the basis of various semiconductor materials: Si, Ge, SiGe, GaP, GaAs and InGaAs. All the semiconductor detectors operate at a room temperature or at thermoelectrically achievable temperatures except of the germanium based detector, which requires liquid nitrogen cooling. Electronic circuits for these detectors biasing, quenching and control have been developed and optimised for different applications. Circuits permitting operation of solid state photon counters in both single and multiple photon signal regimes have been developed and applied. Additionally, these circuits provide the estimate of the photon number involved in the detection process. The timing resolution of the order of units to several tens of picoseconds enables millimeter precision laser ranging. The different photon counting detectors for applications in ground-ground, ground-air, air-ground and ground to space high precision laser ranging have been developed and operated in the field on 11 different wavelengths in the range of 355-1548 nanometres.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6372, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques, 63720M (25 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.685378
Show Author Affiliations
Ivan Prochazka, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Karel Hamal, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6372:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques
Wolfgang Becker, Editor(s)

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