Abstract

The Air Force Phillips Laboratory is in the process of demonstrating an advanced space surveillance capability with a heterodyne laser radar (ladar) system. Notable features of this ladar system include its narrow micropulses (<1.5 ns) contained in a pulse-burst wave form that allows high-resolution range data to be obtained and its high power (30 J/pulse burst) that permits reasonable signal returns from satellites. Recently, time-resolved image-domain signal-to-noise ratios have been derived for both the intensity projections calculated from the range-resolved reflective data and image information obtained with linear combinations of the projections. In this paper the signal-to-noise expression for intensity projections is validated by laboratory data.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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