Abstract

Photon-counting chirped amplitude modulation (PCCAM) ladar employs Geiger mode avalanche photodiode as a detector. After the detector corresponding to the echo signal is reflected from an object or target, the modulation depth (MD) of the detection outputs has some certain loss relative to that of the transmitting signal. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of PCCAM ladar is mainly determined by the MD of detection outputs of the echo signal. There is a proper echo signal intensity that can decrease the MD loss and improve the SNR of the ladar receiver. In this paper, an improved PCCAM ladar system is presented, which employs an echo signal intensity optimization strategy with an iris diaphragm under different signal and noise intensities. The improved system is demonstrated with the background noise of a sunny day and the echo signal intensity from 0.1 to 10counts/ns. The experimental results show that it can effectively improve the SNR of the ladar receiver compared with the typical PCCAM ladar system.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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