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Proceedings Paper

Photon-counting lidar for aerosol detection and 3D imaging
Author(s): Richard M. Marino; Jonathan Richardson; Robert Garnier; David Ireland; Laura Bickmeier; Christina Siracusa; Patrick Quinn
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Paper Abstract

Laser-based remote sensing is undergoing a remarkable advance due to novel technologies developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. We have conducted recent experiments that have demonstrated the utility of detecting and imaging low-density aerosol clouds. The Mobile Active Imaging LIDAR (MAIL) system uses a Lincoln Laboratory-developed microchip laser to transmit short pulses at 14-16 kHz Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF), and a Lincoln Laboratory-developed 32x32 Geiger-mode Avalanche-Photodiode Detector (GmAPD) array for singlephoton counting and ranging. The microchip laser is a frequency-doubled passively Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser providing an average transmitted power of less than 64 milli-Watts. When the avalanche photo-diodes are operated in the Geiger-mode, they are reverse-biased above the breakdown voltage for a time that corresponds to the effective range-gate or range-window of interest. The time-of-flight, and therefore range, is determined from the measured laser transmit time and the digital time value from each pixel. The optical intensity of the received pulse is not measured because the GmAPD is saturated by the electron avalanche. Instead, the reflectivity of the scene, or relative density of aerosols in this case, is determined from the temporally and/or spatially analyzed detection statistics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7323, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XIV, 73230H (9 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.819179
Show Author Affiliations
Richard M. Marino, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Jonathan Richardson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Robert Garnier, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
David Ireland, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Laura Bickmeier, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Christina Siracusa, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Patrick Quinn, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7323:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications XIV
Monte D. Turner; Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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