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, 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, 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, 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, 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)

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]

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]

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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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]

Computing & Control Engineering Journal (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).

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, 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, 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]

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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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