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Proceedings Paper

Eye-safe imaging and tracking laser scanner system for space applications
Author(s): Denis G. Laurin; Francois Blais; J. Angelo Beraldin; Luc Cournoyer
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Paper Abstract

This paper discuses the development of a short wavelength infrared laser ranging scanner system at the Canadian Space Agency in cooperation with the National Research Council Canada. A laser source at 1.54 micrometers wavelength is chosen for its relatively eye-safe property. The scanner system is to be considered for use as a space vision system for applications such as robot vision, satellite acquisition and tracking and high resolution 3D imaging for inspection. As an active system, this laser scanner offers an important advantage over conventional vision systems by providing its own illumination and having no dependence on ambient lighting. While providing relatively eye-safe operation, the choice of IR wavelength also improves the background rejection of solar radiation, the latter being about 5.8 times lower than in the visible. The system possesses two modes of operation for making range measurements: triangulation for short distances (0.5 m to 20 m) and time- of-flight for greater range (10 m to beyond 1 km). A short pulse high repetition rate laser is required for time-of- flight measurements. For space applications, the laser must be compact, rugged and efficient while operating in the eye- safe spectrum (1.5 to 1.8 micrometers ). Currently, a YAG laser with an OPO is used to demonstrate the system's operation at 1.54 micrometers , but is too bulky for a space environment. Eventually it will be replaced with a more compact and efficient fiber laser currently being developed. This paper presents the results of the capabilities and performance of the scanner.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 June 1996
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2748, Laser Radar Technology and Applications, (26 June 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.243550
Show Author Affiliations
Denis G. Laurin, Canadian Space Agency (Canada)
Francois Blais, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
J. Angelo Beraldin, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Luc Cournoyer, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2748:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications
Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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