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Proceedings Paper

Three-dimensional material identification and hazard detection with shortwave infrared supercontinuum based spectral ladar
Author(s): Michael A. Powers
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents new experimental results from a prototype Spectral LADAR, which combines active multispectral and 3D time-of-flight point cloud imaging. The physical domain unification of these imaging modalities based on a pulse modulated supercontinuum source enables substantially higher fidelity images of obscured targets compared to the data domain fusion of passive hyperspectral cameras and conventional LADAR imagers. Spectral LADAR produces 3D spectral point clouds with unambiguously associated 3D image points and spectral vectors, promoting improved object classification performance in cluttered scenes. The 3D shape and material spectral signature of objects may be acquired in daylight or darkness, behind common glass, and behind obscurants such as foliage and camouflage. These capabilities are demonstrated by data obtained from test scenes. These scenes include plastic mine-like objects obscured by foliage, distinction of hazardous explosives inside plastic containers versus innocuous decoy materials, and 3D spectral imaging behind ordinary glass windows. These scenes, at effective ranges of approximately 40 meters, are imaged with nanosecond-regime optical pulses spanning 1.08 μm to 1.62 μm divided into 25 independently ranged spectral bands. The resultant point cloud is spectrally classified according to material type. In contrast to other active spectral imaging techniques, Spectral LADAR is well suited to operate at high pixel and frame rates and at considerable stand-off distances. A combination of favorable attributes, including eye safe wavelengths, relatively small apertures, and very short (single pulse) receiver integration time, bear the potential for this technique to be used on robotic platforms for on-the-move imaging and high area coverage rates.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 May 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8357, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XVII, 83570R (11 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919341
Show Author Affiliations
Michael A. Powers, General Dynamics (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8357:
Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XVII
J. Thomas Broach; John H. Holloway, Editor(s)

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