We present a method based on maximum-likelihood estimation to calculate the threshold of the number of converted photoelectrons according to Poisson and Gaussian statistics. The calculations for detection and false-alarm probabilities are given including a proposal of error probability. An efficient approach of setting threshold according to laser flight time is discussed as the laser power decreases in propagation. Comparison of the fixed threshold and the varied threshold in Poisson and Gaussian statistics is provided. The varied threshold approach tends to keep the error probability at the lowest level. This varied threshold approach is found to have a similar effect on ranging accuracy as a threshold-fixed approach.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
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