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Proceedings Paper

Intensified imaging photon-counting technology for enhanced flash lidar performance
Author(s): Christian J. Grund; Alex Harwit
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Paper Abstract

Intensified Imaging Photon Counting (I2PC) is a new approach to flash lidar that employs direct coupling of a photocathode and microchannel plate front end to a high-speed, pipelined, all-digital ASIC to achieve photon-counting temporal waveform capture in each pixel on each laser return pulse. A unique characteristic of the Ball architecture is the absence of analog components that limit temporal resolution and dynamic range. Implemented in 65nm CMOS technology, the current generation I2PC is expected to record up to 300 photon arrivals in each pixel with 100 ps resolution on each pulse return, and with up to 6000 range bins in each 55 μm pixel. Additional advantages of this architecture are operation at any wavelength where photocathodes are available, intrinsically low f/# and high fill factor capability, array sizes to >3000×3000 pixels with COTS components, extremely high dynamic range, and extremely low false alarm rates. In addition to long-range and low-power hard target imaging, I2PC extends the scannerless capabilities of flash lidar to distributed target applications such as range-resolved waveform captures for atmospheric aerosol and chemistry sensing, vegetation canopies, and camouflage penetration. As a passive imager, I2PC also brings unprecedented speed and dynamic range to low-light and UV imaging applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 April 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7684, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XV, 76840D (29 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.850548
Show Author Affiliations
Christian J. Grund, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Alex Harwit, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7684:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications XV
Monte D. Turner; Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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