Abstract

An rf-modulated pulse train from a passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser has been generated using an extra-cavity acousto-optic modulator. The rf modulation reproduces the spectral quality of the local oscillator. It leads to a high pulse-to-pulse phase coherence, i.e., phase memory, over thousands of pulses. The potentialities of this transmitter for lidar–radar are demonstrated by performing Doppler velocimetry on indoor moving targets. The experimental results are in good agreement with a model based on elementary signal processing theory. In particular, we show experimentally and theoretically that lidar–radar is a promising technique that allows discrimination between translation and rotation movements. Being independent of the laser internal dynamics, this scheme can be applied to any Q-switched laser.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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