Abstract

We exploit the coincidence properties of photon pairs created in spontaneous parametric fluorescence to perform a low light level rangefinding experiment. One photon of each pair is sent to the target, and the small fraction returned is delayed by the return trip time. This delay is measured using a multichannel coincidence counter with gate time down to 10 ns. With a few picowatts output power and a target return of 10−4 we obtain 1-m resolution range estimates in a few seconds with low levels of background light. We discuss the potential of the technique for millimeter accuracy ranging (or surveying) in high ambient light levels.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. A. Yariv, Quantum Electronics (Wiley, New York, 1967, 1975), Chaps. 16 and 17.
  2. D. C. Burnham, D. L. Weinberg, “Observation of the Simultaneity in Parametric Production of Optical Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 25, 84–87 (1970).
    [Crossref]
  3. B. R. Mollow, “Photon Correlations in the Parametric Frequency Splitting of Light,” Phys. Rev. A 8, 2684–2694 (1973).
    [Crossref]
  4. S. Friberg, C. K. Hong, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Time Delays in the Parametric Production of Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Let. 54, 2011–2013 (1985).
    [Crossref]
  5. C. K. Hong, Z. Y. Ou, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Subpicosecond Time Intervals Between Two Photons by Interference,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2044–2046 (1987).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  6. J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Non Classical Effects in Parametric Downconversion,” in Photons and Quantum Fluctuations, E. R. Pike, H. Walther, Eds. (Hilger, Bristol, 1988), pp. 122–150; J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Fourth-Order Interference in Parametric Downconversion,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 6, 1221–1226 (1989).
    [Crossref]
  7. J. G. Walker, E. Jakeman, “Photon-Antibunching by Use of a Photoelectron-Event Triggered Optical Shutter,” Opt. Acta 32, 1303–1308 (1985).
    [Crossref]
  8. J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, E. Jakeman, “Observation of Sub-Poissonian Light in Parametric Down-Conversion,” Opt. Commun. 62, 201–206 (1987).
    [Crossref]
  9. P. R. Tapster, J. G. Rarity, J. S. Satchell, “The Use of Parametric Downconversion to Generate Sub-Poissonian Light,” Phys. Rev. A 37, 2963–2967 (1988).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  10. J. G. Walker, S. F. Seward, J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Range Measurement Photon by Photon,” Quantum Opt. 1, 75–82 (1989).
    [Crossref]
  11. J. G. Rarity, K. D. Ridley, P. R. Tapster, “Absolute Measurement of Detector Quantum Efficiency Using Parametric Downconversion,” Appl. Opt. 26, 4616–4619 (1987).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  12. R. G. W. Brown, K. D. Ridley, J. G. Rarity, “Characterization of Silicon Avalanche Photodiodes for Photon Correlation Measurements. 1: Passive Quenching,” Appl. Opt. 25, 4122–4126 (1987).
    [Crossref]
  13. R. G. W. Brown, R. Jones, J. G. Rarity, K. D. Ridley, “Characterization of Silicon Avalanche Photodiodes for Photon Correlation Measurements. 2: Active Quenching,” Appl. Opt. 26, 2383–2389 (1987).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  14. C. J. Oliver, “Pulse Compression in Optical Radar,” IEEE Aerosp. Electron. Syst. AES-15, 306–324 (1979).
    [Crossref]
  15. P. R. Tapster, J. G. Walker, S. Seward, J. G. Rarity, in preparation.

1989 (1)

J. G. Walker, S. F. Seward, J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Range Measurement Photon by Photon,” Quantum Opt. 1, 75–82 (1989).
[Crossref]

1988 (1)

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Rarity, J. S. Satchell, “The Use of Parametric Downconversion to Generate Sub-Poissonian Light,” Phys. Rev. A 37, 2963–2967 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1987 (5)

1985 (2)

J. G. Walker, E. Jakeman, “Photon-Antibunching by Use of a Photoelectron-Event Triggered Optical Shutter,” Opt. Acta 32, 1303–1308 (1985).
[Crossref]

S. Friberg, C. K. Hong, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Time Delays in the Parametric Production of Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Let. 54, 2011–2013 (1985).
[Crossref]

1979 (1)

C. J. Oliver, “Pulse Compression in Optical Radar,” IEEE Aerosp. Electron. Syst. AES-15, 306–324 (1979).
[Crossref]

1973 (1)

B. R. Mollow, “Photon Correlations in the Parametric Frequency Splitting of Light,” Phys. Rev. A 8, 2684–2694 (1973).
[Crossref]

1970 (1)

D. C. Burnham, D. L. Weinberg, “Observation of the Simultaneity in Parametric Production of Optical Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 25, 84–87 (1970).
[Crossref]

Brown, R. G. W.

Burnham, D. C.

D. C. Burnham, D. L. Weinberg, “Observation of the Simultaneity in Parametric Production of Optical Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 25, 84–87 (1970).
[Crossref]

Friberg, S.

S. Friberg, C. K. Hong, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Time Delays in the Parametric Production of Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Let. 54, 2011–2013 (1985).
[Crossref]

Hong, C. K.

C. K. Hong, Z. Y. Ou, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Subpicosecond Time Intervals Between Two Photons by Interference,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2044–2046 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

S. Friberg, C. K. Hong, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Time Delays in the Parametric Production of Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Let. 54, 2011–2013 (1985).
[Crossref]

Jakeman, E.

J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, E. Jakeman, “Observation of Sub-Poissonian Light in Parametric Down-Conversion,” Opt. Commun. 62, 201–206 (1987).
[Crossref]

J. G. Walker, E. Jakeman, “Photon-Antibunching by Use of a Photoelectron-Event Triggered Optical Shutter,” Opt. Acta 32, 1303–1308 (1985).
[Crossref]

Jones, R.

Mandel, L.

C. K. Hong, Z. Y. Ou, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Subpicosecond Time Intervals Between Two Photons by Interference,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2044–2046 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

S. Friberg, C. K. Hong, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Time Delays in the Parametric Production of Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Let. 54, 2011–2013 (1985).
[Crossref]

Mollow, B. R.

B. R. Mollow, “Photon Correlations in the Parametric Frequency Splitting of Light,” Phys. Rev. A 8, 2684–2694 (1973).
[Crossref]

Oliver, C. J.

C. J. Oliver, “Pulse Compression in Optical Radar,” IEEE Aerosp. Electron. Syst. AES-15, 306–324 (1979).
[Crossref]

Ou, Z. Y.

C. K. Hong, Z. Y. Ou, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Subpicosecond Time Intervals Between Two Photons by Interference,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2044–2046 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Rarity, J. G.

J. G. Walker, S. F. Seward, J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Range Measurement Photon by Photon,” Quantum Opt. 1, 75–82 (1989).
[Crossref]

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Rarity, J. S. Satchell, “The Use of Parametric Downconversion to Generate Sub-Poissonian Light,” Phys. Rev. A 37, 2963–2967 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R. G. W. Brown, R. Jones, J. G. Rarity, K. D. Ridley, “Characterization of Silicon Avalanche Photodiodes for Photon Correlation Measurements. 2: Active Quenching,” Appl. Opt. 26, 2383–2389 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R. G. W. Brown, K. D. Ridley, J. G. Rarity, “Characterization of Silicon Avalanche Photodiodes for Photon Correlation Measurements. 1: Passive Quenching,” Appl. Opt. 25, 4122–4126 (1987).
[Crossref]

J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, E. Jakeman, “Observation of Sub-Poissonian Light in Parametric Down-Conversion,” Opt. Commun. 62, 201–206 (1987).
[Crossref]

J. G. Rarity, K. D. Ridley, P. R. Tapster, “Absolute Measurement of Detector Quantum Efficiency Using Parametric Downconversion,” Appl. Opt. 26, 4616–4619 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Non Classical Effects in Parametric Downconversion,” in Photons and Quantum Fluctuations, E. R. Pike, H. Walther, Eds. (Hilger, Bristol, 1988), pp. 122–150; J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Fourth-Order Interference in Parametric Downconversion,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 6, 1221–1226 (1989).
[Crossref]

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Walker, S. Seward, J. G. Rarity, in preparation.

Ridley, K. D.

Satchell, J. S.

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Rarity, J. S. Satchell, “The Use of Parametric Downconversion to Generate Sub-Poissonian Light,” Phys. Rev. A 37, 2963–2967 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Seward, S.

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Walker, S. Seward, J. G. Rarity, in preparation.

Seward, S. F.

J. G. Walker, S. F. Seward, J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Range Measurement Photon by Photon,” Quantum Opt. 1, 75–82 (1989).
[Crossref]

Tapster, P. R.

J. G. Walker, S. F. Seward, J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Range Measurement Photon by Photon,” Quantum Opt. 1, 75–82 (1989).
[Crossref]

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Rarity, J. S. Satchell, “The Use of Parametric Downconversion to Generate Sub-Poissonian Light,” Phys. Rev. A 37, 2963–2967 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, E. Jakeman, “Observation of Sub-Poissonian Light in Parametric Down-Conversion,” Opt. Commun. 62, 201–206 (1987).
[Crossref]

J. G. Rarity, K. D. Ridley, P. R. Tapster, “Absolute Measurement of Detector Quantum Efficiency Using Parametric Downconversion,” Appl. Opt. 26, 4616–4619 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Non Classical Effects in Parametric Downconversion,” in Photons and Quantum Fluctuations, E. R. Pike, H. Walther, Eds. (Hilger, Bristol, 1988), pp. 122–150; J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Fourth-Order Interference in Parametric Downconversion,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 6, 1221–1226 (1989).
[Crossref]

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Walker, S. Seward, J. G. Rarity, in preparation.

Walker, J. G.

J. G. Walker, S. F. Seward, J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Range Measurement Photon by Photon,” Quantum Opt. 1, 75–82 (1989).
[Crossref]

J. G. Walker, E. Jakeman, “Photon-Antibunching by Use of a Photoelectron-Event Triggered Optical Shutter,” Opt. Acta 32, 1303–1308 (1985).
[Crossref]

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Walker, S. Seward, J. G. Rarity, in preparation.

Weinberg, D. L.

D. C. Burnham, D. L. Weinberg, “Observation of the Simultaneity in Parametric Production of Optical Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 25, 84–87 (1970).
[Crossref]

Yariv, A.

A. Yariv, Quantum Electronics (Wiley, New York, 1967, 1975), Chaps. 16 and 17.

Appl. Opt. (3)

IEEE Aerosp. Electron. Syst. (1)

C. J. Oliver, “Pulse Compression in Optical Radar,” IEEE Aerosp. Electron. Syst. AES-15, 306–324 (1979).
[Crossref]

Opt. Acta (1)

J. G. Walker, E. Jakeman, “Photon-Antibunching by Use of a Photoelectron-Event Triggered Optical Shutter,” Opt. Acta 32, 1303–1308 (1985).
[Crossref]

Opt. Commun. (1)

J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, E. Jakeman, “Observation of Sub-Poissonian Light in Parametric Down-Conversion,” Opt. Commun. 62, 201–206 (1987).
[Crossref]

Phys. Rev. A (2)

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Rarity, J. S. Satchell, “The Use of Parametric Downconversion to Generate Sub-Poissonian Light,” Phys. Rev. A 37, 2963–2967 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

B. R. Mollow, “Photon Correlations in the Parametric Frequency Splitting of Light,” Phys. Rev. A 8, 2684–2694 (1973).
[Crossref]

Phys. Rev. Let. (1)

S. Friberg, C. K. Hong, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Time Delays in the Parametric Production of Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Let. 54, 2011–2013 (1985).
[Crossref]

Phys. Rev. Lett. (2)

C. K. Hong, Z. Y. Ou, L. Mandel, “Measurement of Subpicosecond Time Intervals Between Two Photons by Interference,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2044–2046 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

D. C. Burnham, D. L. Weinberg, “Observation of the Simultaneity in Parametric Production of Optical Photon Pairs,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 25, 84–87 (1970).
[Crossref]

Quantum Opt. (1)

J. G. Walker, S. F. Seward, J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Range Measurement Photon by Photon,” Quantum Opt. 1, 75–82 (1989).
[Crossref]

Other (3)

J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Non Classical Effects in Parametric Downconversion,” in Photons and Quantum Fluctuations, E. R. Pike, H. Walther, Eds. (Hilger, Bristol, 1988), pp. 122–150; J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, “Fourth-Order Interference in Parametric Downconversion,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 6, 1221–1226 (1989).
[Crossref]

A. Yariv, Quantum Electronics (Wiley, New York, 1967, 1975), Chaps. 16 and 17.

P. R. Tapster, J. G. Walker, S. Seward, J. G. Rarity, in preparation.

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic of the pair photon rangefinder. The laser operates at 441.6 nm illuminating a KD*P crystal. Downconverted beams containing identical photon streams are selected by apertures. One beam (A) is collimated and sent to a remote target. The return is focused and detected by photon counting detector DA. A lens in beam B transfers an image of the illuminated region of the crystal onto photon counting detector DB, and the time delay between coincident detections is measured using a correlator acting as a multichannel coincidence counter.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Graph of target distance vs coincidence delay showing a gradient of c/2, where c is the speed of light. The line does not pass through the origin as there is a 34-ns delay introduced by differences in detection electronics.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Multichannel coincidence data showing the effect of increasing the sample or gate time t. Data set: (a) t = 160 ns (+), (b) t = 80 ns (⊙), (c) t = 40 ns (+), (d) t = 20 ns (⊙), (e) t = 10 ns (+).

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Graph showing experimental ⊙ and theoretical Δ SNRs for various sample times t.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Multichannel coincidence data showing the effect of increasing background light levels. Gate time t = 20 ns. Nominal background count rates for data set: (a) bA = 120 Kcps (+), (b) bA = 40 Kcps (⊙), (c) bA = 12 Kcps (+), (d) bA = 4 Kcps (⊙), (e) bA = 1.5 Kcps (+). Vertical error bars show two standard deviations calculated from Eq. (5).

Equations (5)

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ω 0 + ω 1 + ω 2             k 0 = k 1 + k 2 ,
n A ¯ = η A α r + b A , n B ¯ = η B r + b B ,
C ¯ = η A η B α r ,
C ¯ ( N t ) = { n A ¯ n B ¯ t + η A η B α r N t - τ d t N t - τ d t , n A ¯ n B ¯ t N t - τ d t .
SNR = η A η B α r T 1 / 2 ( 2 n A ¯ n B ¯ t + η A η B α r ) 1 / 2 .

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