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Proceedings Paper

Airborne laser radar: systems and methods for reconnaissance and terrain modeling
Author(s): Ove K. Steinvall; Ulf Soederman; Simon Ahlberg; Martin Sandberg; Dietmar Letalick; Erland Jungert
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Paper Abstract

Recently a number of airborne nadir scanning laser radars have been developed for both military and civilian applications. These have range resolutions on the order of 10 cm but relatively moderate area coverage rates, in the range 1000 - 10,000 m2/s (3.6 - 36 km2/h) when operating in a high resolution mode with 0.25 m spot distance. Technology development in laser sources, scanning techniques and signal processing will probably improve the area coverage substantially and lead to compact systems suitable for new applications, including the use in UAV:s. Present nadir capability could be combined with a forward looking capability for guidance and obstacle avoidance in autonomous or semi-autonomous systems. The paper will investigate the potential performance of such combined systems using state-of-the-art lasers and receiver technology. Among the applications for both military and civilian users we note the collection of 3-D data for terrain modeling and object recognition. For these functions signal processing using multiple echo and intensity information is of great value as well as adding passive senor information. Full wave form processing will further improve the information for example to characterize trees. The use of high resolution 3-D data in synthetic environments is obvious and will be discussed. Experimental data collected with a commercial laser system, TopEye, developed by Saab Dynamics, will be shown and some image examples will be discussed in relation to different applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 1999
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 3707, Laser Radar Technology and Applications IV, (28 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.351338
Show Author Affiliations
Ove K. Steinvall, Swedish Defence Research Establishment (Sweden)
Ulf Soederman, Swedish Defence Research Establishment (Sweden)
Simon Ahlberg, Swedish Defence Research Establishment (Sweden)
Martin Sandberg, Swedish Defence Research Establishment (Sweden)
Dietmar Letalick, Swedish Defence Research Establishment (Sweden)
Erland Jungert, Swedish Defence Research Establishment (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3707:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications IV
Gary W. Kamerman; Christian Werner, Editor(s)

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