Abstract

We have developed a three-dimensional imaging laser radar featuring 3-cm range resolution and single-photon sensitivity. This prototype direct-detection laser radar employs compact, all-solid-state technology for the laser and detector array. The source is a Nd:YAG microchip laser that is diode pumped, passively Q-switched, and frequency doubled. The detector is a gated, passively quenched, two-dimensional array of silicon avalanche photodiodes operating in Geiger mode. After describing the system in detail, we present a three-dimensional image, derive performance characteristics, and discuss our plans for future imaging three-dimensional laser radars.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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