Abstract

The Cramer–Rao lower bound (CRLB) on range error is calculated for laser detection and ranging (LADAR) systems using Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes (GMAPDs) to detect reflected laser pulses. For the cases considered, the GMAPD range error CRLB is greater than the CRLB for a photon-counting device. It is also shown that the GMAPD range error CRLB is minimized when the mean energy in the received laser pulse is finite. Given typical LADAR system parameters, a Gaussian-envelope received pulse, and a noise detection rate of less than 4MHz, the GMAPD range error CRLB is minimized when the quantum efficiency times the mean number of received laser pulse photons is between 2.2 and 2.3.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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