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Proceedings Paper

Remote ultra-low light imaging (RULLI) for space situational awareness (SSA): modeling and simulation results for passive and active SSA
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Paper Abstract

Remote Ultra-Low Light Imaging detectors are photon limited detectors developed at Los Alamos National Laboratories. RULLI detectors provide a very high degree of temporal resolution for the arrival times of detected photoevents, but saturate at a photo-detection rate of about 106 photo-events per second. Rather than recording a conventional image, such as output by a charged coupled device (CCD) camera, the RULLI detector outputs a data stream consisting of the two-dimensional location, and time of arrival of each detected photo-electron. Hence, there is no need to select a specific exposure time to accumulate photo-events prior to the data collection with a RULLI detector - this quantity can be optimized in post processing. RULLI detectors have lower peak quantum efficiency (from as low as 5% to perhaps as much as 40% with modern photocathode technology) than back-illuminated CCD's (80% or higher). As a result of these factors, and the associated analyses of signal and noise, we have found that RULLI detectors can play two key new roles in SSA: passive imaging of exceedingly dim objects, and three-dimensional imaging of objects illuminated with an appropriate pulsed laser. In this paper we describe the RULLI detection model, compare it to a conventional CCD detection model, and present analytic and simulation results to show the limits of performance of RULLI detectors used for SSA applications at AMOS field site.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 August 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7094, Unconventional Imaging IV, 709409 (26 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.793913
Show Author Affiliations
Michael C. Roggemann, Michigan Technological Univ. (United States)
Kris Hamada, Pacific Defense Solutions (United States)
S. Rao Gudimetla, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Kim Luu, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
L. William Bradford, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
David C. Thompson, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Robert Shirey, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7094:
Unconventional Imaging IV
Jean J. Dolne; Thomas J. Karr; Victor L. Gamiz, Editor(s)

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