Abstract

We describe improvements to a time-of-flight sensor utilising the time-correlated single-photon counting technique employing a commercially-available silicon-based photon-counting module. By making modifications to the single-photon detection circuitry and the data analysis techniques, we experimentally demonstrate improved resolution between multiple scattering surfaces with a minimum resolvable separation of 1.7 cm at ranges in excess of several hundred metres.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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  1. A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, A.C. Walker, J.S. Massa, and M. Umasuthan, “As easy as TCSPC? Depth imaging and 3D metrology based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Image Process. Europe 232–35 (1998).
  2. A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “3D imaging and ranging by time-correlated single-photon counting,” Computing & Control Engineering Journal 12,157–168, (2001).
  3. J.S. Massa, A. M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, S.J. Fancey, and A.C. Walker, “Laser depth measurement based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Opt. Lett. 22,543–545, (1997).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  4. M. Umasuthan, A.M. Wallace, J.S. Massa, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “Processing time-correlated single-photon counting data to acquire range images,” IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. 145,237–243 (1998).
    [Crossref]
  5. G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
    [Crossref]
  6. A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
    [Crossref]
  7. I. Rech, I. LaBanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77,033104 (2006).
    [Crossref]
  8. S. Richardson and P. Green, “On Bayesian analysis of mixtures with an unknown number of components,” J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. B, 59,731–792, (1997).
    [Crossref]
  9. S. Pellegrini, G.S. Buller, J.M. Smith, A.M. Wallace, and S. Cova, “Laser-based distance measurement using picosecond resolution time-correlated single-photon counting,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 11,712–716 (2000).
    [Crossref]

2006 (2)

A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
[Crossref]

I. Rech, I. LaBanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77,033104 (2006).
[Crossref]

2005 (1)

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

2001 (1)

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “3D imaging and ranging by time-correlated single-photon counting,” Computing & Control Engineering Journal 12,157–168, (2001).

2000 (1)

S. Pellegrini, G.S. Buller, J.M. Smith, A.M. Wallace, and S. Cova, “Laser-based distance measurement using picosecond resolution time-correlated single-photon counting,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 11,712–716 (2000).
[Crossref]

1998 (2)

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, A.C. Walker, J.S. Massa, and M. Umasuthan, “As easy as TCSPC? Depth imaging and 3D metrology based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Image Process. Europe 232–35 (1998).

M. Umasuthan, A.M. Wallace, J.S. Massa, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “Processing time-correlated single-photon counting data to acquire range images,” IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. 145,237–243 (1998).
[Crossref]

1997 (2)

J.S. Massa, A. M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, S.J. Fancey, and A.C. Walker, “Laser depth measurement based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Opt. Lett. 22,543–545, (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

S. Richardson and P. Green, “On Bayesian analysis of mixtures with an unknown number of components,” J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. B, 59,731–792, (1997).
[Crossref]

Buller, G.S.

A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
[Crossref]

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “3D imaging and ranging by time-correlated single-photon counting,” Computing & Control Engineering Journal 12,157–168, (2001).

S. Pellegrini, G.S. Buller, J.M. Smith, A.M. Wallace, and S. Cova, “Laser-based distance measurement using picosecond resolution time-correlated single-photon counting,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 11,712–716 (2000).
[Crossref]

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, A.C. Walker, J.S. Massa, and M. Umasuthan, “As easy as TCSPC? Depth imaging and 3D metrology based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Image Process. Europe 232–35 (1998).

M. Umasuthan, A.M. Wallace, J.S. Massa, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “Processing time-correlated single-photon counting data to acquire range images,” IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. 145,237–243 (1998).
[Crossref]

J.S. Massa, A. M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, S.J. Fancey, and A.C. Walker, “Laser depth measurement based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Opt. Lett. 22,543–545, (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Cova, S.

I. Rech, I. LaBanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77,033104 (2006).
[Crossref]

S. Pellegrini, G.S. Buller, J.M. Smith, A.M. Wallace, and S. Cova, “Laser-based distance measurement using picosecond resolution time-correlated single-photon counting,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 11,712–716 (2000).
[Crossref]

Fancey, S.J.

Ghioni, M.

I. Rech, I. LaBanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77,033104 (2006).
[Crossref]

Green, P.

S. Richardson and P. Green, “On Bayesian analysis of mixtures with an unknown number of components,” J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. B, 59,731–792, (1997).
[Crossref]

Harkins, R.D.

A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
[Crossref]

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

Hiskett, P.A.

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

LaBanca, I.

I. Rech, I. LaBanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77,033104 (2006).
[Crossref]

Lamb, R.A.

A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
[Crossref]

MacKinnon, G.R.

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

Massa, J.S.

M. Umasuthan, A.M. Wallace, J.S. Massa, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “Processing time-correlated single-photon counting data to acquire range images,” IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. 145,237–243 (1998).
[Crossref]

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, A.C. Walker, J.S. Massa, and M. Umasuthan, “As easy as TCSPC? Depth imaging and 3D metrology based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Image Process. Europe 232–35 (1998).

J.S. Massa, A. M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, S.J. Fancey, and A.C. Walker, “Laser depth measurement based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Opt. Lett. 22,543–545, (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

McCarthy, A.

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

Pellegrini, S.

S. Pellegrini, G.S. Buller, J.M. Smith, A.M. Wallace, and S. Cova, “Laser-based distance measurement using picosecond resolution time-correlated single-photon counting,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 11,712–716 (2000).
[Crossref]

Rech, I.

I. Rech, I. LaBanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77,033104 (2006).
[Crossref]

Richardson, S.

S. Richardson and P. Green, “On Bayesian analysis of mixtures with an unknown number of components,” J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. B, 59,731–792, (1997).
[Crossref]

Smith, G.R.

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

Smith, J.M.

S. Pellegrini, G.S. Buller, J.M. Smith, A.M. Wallace, and S. Cova, “Laser-based distance measurement using picosecond resolution time-correlated single-photon counting,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 11,712–716 (2000).
[Crossref]

Sung, R.

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

Sung, R.C.W.

A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
[Crossref]

Umasuthan, M.

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, A.C. Walker, J.S. Massa, and M. Umasuthan, “As easy as TCSPC? Depth imaging and 3D metrology based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Image Process. Europe 232–35 (1998).

M. Umasuthan, A.M. Wallace, J.S. Massa, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “Processing time-correlated single-photon counting data to acquire range images,” IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. 145,237–243 (1998).
[Crossref]

Walker, A.C.

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “3D imaging and ranging by time-correlated single-photon counting,” Computing & Control Engineering Journal 12,157–168, (2001).

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, A.C. Walker, J.S. Massa, and M. Umasuthan, “As easy as TCSPC? Depth imaging and 3D metrology based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Image Process. Europe 232–35 (1998).

M. Umasuthan, A.M. Wallace, J.S. Massa, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “Processing time-correlated single-photon counting data to acquire range images,” IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. 145,237–243 (1998).
[Crossref]

J.S. Massa, A. M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, S.J. Fancey, and A.C. Walker, “Laser depth measurement based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Opt. Lett. 22,543–545, (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Wallace, A. M.

Wallace, A.M.

A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
[Crossref]

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “3D imaging and ranging by time-correlated single-photon counting,” Computing & Control Engineering Journal 12,157–168, (2001).

S. Pellegrini, G.S. Buller, J.M. Smith, A.M. Wallace, and S. Cova, “Laser-based distance measurement using picosecond resolution time-correlated single-photon counting,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 11,712–716 (2000).
[Crossref]

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, A.C. Walker, J.S. Massa, and M. Umasuthan, “As easy as TCSPC? Depth imaging and 3D metrology based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Image Process. Europe 232–35 (1998).

M. Umasuthan, A.M. Wallace, J.S. Massa, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “Processing time-correlated single-photon counting data to acquire range images,” IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. 145,237–243 (1998).
[Crossref]

Warburton, R.E.

A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
[Crossref]

IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. (1)

A.M. Wallace, R.C.W. Sung, G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, R.E. Warburton, and R.A. Lamb, “Detecting and characterising return in a multi-spectral pulsed LaDAR system,” IEE Proc. Vision Image Signal Process. 153,160–172 (2006).
[Crossref]

IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. (1)

M. Umasuthan, A.M. Wallace, J.S. Massa, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “Processing time-correlated single-photon counting data to acquire range images,” IEE Proc. Vision, Image Signal Process. 145,237–243 (1998).
[Crossref]

Image Process. Europe (1)

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, A.C. Walker, J.S. Massa, and M. Umasuthan, “As easy as TCSPC? Depth imaging and 3D metrology based on time-correlated single-photon counting,” Image Process. Europe 232–35 (1998).

J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. B (1)

S. Richardson and P. Green, “On Bayesian analysis of mixtures with an unknown number of components,” J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. B, 59,731–792, (1997).
[Crossref]

Meas. Sci. Technol. (1)

S. Pellegrini, G.S. Buller, J.M. Smith, A.M. Wallace, and S. Cova, “Laser-based distance measurement using picosecond resolution time-correlated single-photon counting,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 11,712–716 (2000).
[Crossref]

Opt. Lett. (1)

Rev. of Sci. Instrum. (1)

G.S. Buller, R.D. Harkins, A. McCarthy, P.A. Hiskett, G.R. MacKinnon, G.R. Smith, R. Sung, and A.M. Wallace, “A multiple wavelength time-of-flight sensor based on TCSPC,” Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 76,083112 (2005).
[Crossref]

Rev. Sci. Instrum. (1)

I. Rech, I. LaBanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77,033104 (2006).
[Crossref]

Other (1)

A.M. Wallace, G.S. Buller, and A.C. Walker, “3D imaging and ranging by time-correlated single-photon counting,” Computing & Control Engineering Journal 12,157–168, (2001).

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

System Schematic. The target consisted of two retro-reflectors with variable separation.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

(a) SPAD timing jitter and (b) peak position as a function of count rate for both SPADs.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Histogram of normalized returns from two corner-cubes separated by 70cm, recorded using both SPAD detectors, with photon counts normalized to the same height for illustrative purposes. In this case, the histogram is shown on a semi-logarithimic plot.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Histogram of returns from two corner-cubes separated by 9.2 cm, recorded using both SPADs, with photon counts normalized to the same maximum height for illustrative purposes.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Calculated separation using centroid method vs. actual separation for both SPADs, the black line shows the case of perfect agreement. The insert shows an expansion of the graph at the lower surface separations.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Calculated separation using RJMCMC algorithm on data acquired in 1 sec vs. actual separation

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Comparison of single corner-cube return and returns from corner-cubes separated by 1.7 cm.

Equations (1)

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SBR = n sig ( n sig + n B ) 1 2

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