Abstract

We present synthetic aperture ladar (SAL) imaging demonstrations where the return-signal level from the target is near the single-photon level per resolved pixel. Scenes consisting of both specular-point targets and diffuse-reflection, fully speckled targets are studied. Artificial retro-reflector-based phase references and/or phase-gradient-autofocus (PGA) algorithms were utilized for compensation of phase errors during the aperture motion. It was found that SAL images could reliably be formed with both methods even when the final max pixel intensity was at the few photon level, which means the SNR before azimuth compression is below unity. Mutual information-based comparison of SAL images show that average mutual information is reduced when the PGA is utilized for image-based phase compensation. The photon information efficiency of SAL and coherent imaging is discussed.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
OSA Recommended Articles
Laboratory demonstrations of interferometric and spotlight synthetic aperture ladar techniques

Stephen Crouch and Zeb W. Barber
Opt. Express 20(22) 24237-24246 (2012)

Photon-limited synthetic-aperture imaging for planet surface studies

Robert L. Lucke and Lee J Rickard
Appl. Opt. 41(24) 5084-5095 (2002)

Optical image processing for synthetic-aperture imaging ladar based on two-dimensional Fourier transform

Zhiwei Sun, Peipei Hou, Ya’nan Zhi, Jianfeng Sun, Yu Zhou, Qian Xu, Zhiyong Lu, and Liren Liu
Appl. Opt. 53(9) 1846-1855 (2014)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (9)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (7)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription