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Proceedings Paper

Using an eyesafe military laser range finder for atmospheric sensing
Author(s): Ove Steinvall; Rolf Persson; Folke Berglund; Ove K. S. Gustafsson; Frank Gustafsson
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Paper Abstract

Laser Rangefinders are well established components in various electro-optical fire control systems. Recent range finders are often operating at eye safe wavelengths around 1.5 μm which extend their utility. One such extension is the use of the sensor for atmospheric sensing based on the measured backscatter signal. The present paper investigates the use of an eye-safe laser rangefinder at 1.5 μm to obtain information on atmospheric attenuation at various paths in the atmosphere. This knowledge can in turn be used in combination with atmospheric and target/background models to estimate the performance of other EO sensors like TV and thermal imagers beside the laser range finder itself. Such information can be of great value both for estimating own sensor capabilities at a given moment as well as estimating the threat capability. One obvious example is ship defense where it is difficult to obtain visibility along a variable atmosphere especially in darkness. The paper will describe the experimental equipment and the results from measurements of atmospheric backscatter along various atmospheric paths. The backscatter curve is used to evaluate the extinction. This extinction values are compared with those deduced from a point visibility meter and from echo measurements against two similar nets positioned at 2 ranges from the sensor. The results indicated a good correspondence between these results. Finally the results are illustrated in a system perspective by estimating the performance for thermal IR and other EO sensors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 2014
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 9080, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XIX; and Atmospheric Propagation XI, 90800W (9 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2049044
Show Author Affiliations
Ove Steinvall, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Rolf Persson, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Folke Berglund, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Ove K. S. Gustafsson, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Frank Gustafsson, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9080:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications XIX; and Atmospheric Propagation XI
Monte D. Turner; Linda M. Wasiczko Thomas; Gary W. Kamerman; Earl J. Spillar, Editor(s)

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