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Proceedings Paper

Depth imaging at kilometer range using time-correlated single-photon counting at wavelengths of 850 nm and 1560 nm
Author(s): Gerald S. Buller; Aongus McCarthy; Ximing Ren; Nathan R. Gemmell; Robert J. Collins; Nils J. Krichel; Michael G. Tanner; Andrew M. Wallace; Sandor Dorenbos; Val Zwiller; Robert H. Hadfield
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Paper Abstract

Active depth imaging approaches are being used in a number of emerging applications, for example in environmental sensing, manufacturing and defense. The high sensitivity and picosecond timing resolution of the time-correlated single-photon counting technique can provide distinct advantages in the trade-offs between required illumination power, range, depth resolution and data acquisition durations. These considerations must also address requirements for eye-safety, especially in applications requiring outdoor, kilometer range sensing. We present a scanning time-of-flight imager based on MHz repetition-rate pulsed illumination operating with sub-milliwatt average power. The use of a scanning mechanism permits operation with an individual, high-performance single-photon detector. The system has been used with a number of non-cooperative targets, in different weather conditions and various ambient light conditions. We consider a number of system issues, including the range ambiguity issue and scattering from multiple surfaces. The initial work was performed at wavelengths around 850 nm for convenient use with Si-based single photon avalanche diode detectors, however we will also discuss the performance at a wavelength of 1560 nm, made using superconducting nanowire single photon detectors. The use of the latter wavelength band allows access to a low-loss atmospheric window, as well as greatly reduced solar background contribution and less stringent eye safety considerations. We consider a range of optical design configurations and discuss the performance trade-offs and future directions in more detail.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8460, Biosensing and Nanomedicine V, 84601I (10 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.965890
Show Author Affiliations
Gerald S. Buller, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Aongus McCarthy, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Ximing Ren, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Nathan R. Gemmell, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Robert J. Collins, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Nils J. Krichel, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Michael G. Tanner, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Andrew M. Wallace, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Sandor Dorenbos, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft Unit. of Technology (Netherlands)
Val Zwiller, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Robert H. Hadfield, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8460:
Biosensing and Nanomedicine V
Hooman Mohseni; Massoud H. Agahi; Manijeh Razeghi, Editor(s)

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