Active optical imaging is preferred over radio frequency counterparts due to its higher resolution, faster area search rate, and relatively easier learning and interpretation of the image by a human observer. However, in imaging through atmosphere, one should consider dispersive effects of multiple scatterings and turbulence-induced wave perturbations, which give rise to intensity fluctuations and wavefront distortions. All these phenomena broaden and distort the spatial impulse response known as the point spread function (PSF). In this paper, a spatially multiplexed multi-input–multi-output imaging system design, inspired by multispot diffuse indoor communications configuration first introduced by Yun and Kavehrad [IEEE International Conference Selected Topics in Wireless Communications (IEEE, 1992), pp 262–265], is presented. At the transmitter, a computer-generated holographic beam splitter is used to generate arrays of beamlets, providing a faster area search rate and a uniformly distributed illumination over the entire target area. Then, at the receiver, an array of photodetectors is used to collect the reflected rays. While a Monte Carlo ray-tracing algorithm developed at Pennsylvania State University, Center for Information and Communications Research (CICTR), is used to model imaging in multiple-scattering turbid media, phase screens are employed to simulate turbulence-induced wavefront distortions. Hence, a comprehensive framework is exploited that takes into account possible sources of degradation. Using this framework, system performance is analyzed under different meteorological conditions. Restoration techniques such as adaptive-optics corrections, blind deconvolution, and time gating are used to improve the contrast and enhance the sharpness and resolution of the images.
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