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Proceedings Paper

Depth imaging through obscurants using time-correlated single-photon counting
Author(s): Rachael Tobin; Abderrahim Halimi; Aongus McCarthy; Martin Laurenzis; Frank Christnacher; Gerald S. Buller
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Paper Abstract

We present a scanning depth imaging system which was used to investigate free-space imaging of targets through a variety of highly obscuring media. The system utilized the time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) technique to obtain photon time-of-flight information. This was used to reconstruct high-resolution three-dimensional depth and intensity profiles of targets at stand-off distances of up to 24 meters in scenarios with very poor visibility. The results demonstrate the benefits of short-wave infrared (SWIR) wavelengths compared to visible band sensors for imaging through several forms of obscurants.

The system was configured for operation at a wavelength of 1550 nm and measurements were performed using a 26 meter long fog tunnel facility which was filled with obscurants of several different types and densities. The system was comprised of a custom-built scanning transceiver unit, fiber-coupled to a Peltier cooled InGaAs/InP single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detector. A picosecond pulsed laser was used to provide a fiber-coupled illumination wavelength of 1550 nm at an approximate average optical power level of just under 1.5 mW for all measurements.

Bespoke image processing algorithms were developed to reconstruct high resolution depth and intensity profiles of obscured targets in challenging environments with low visibilities. Such algorithms can allow for target reconstruction using low levels of optical power and shorter data acquisition times, thus enabling image acquisition in the sparse photon regime.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2018
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10659, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques XII, 106590S (14 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2305369
Show Author Affiliations
Rachael Tobin, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Abderrahim Halimi, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Aongus McCarthy, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Martin Laurenzis, Institut Franco-Allemand de Recherches de Saint-Louis (France)
Frank Christnacher, Institut Franco-Allemand de Recherches de Saint-Louis (France)
Gerald S. Buller, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10659:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques XII
Mark A. Itzler; Joe C. Campbell, Editor(s)

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