Abstract

We report what is to our knowledge the first demonstration of phase-sensitive coherent summation of individual heterodyne detector array signals for the enhanced detection of spatially distorted laser Doppler returns. With the use of a 2 × 2 heterodyne detector array, the phase and amplitude of a time-varying speckle pattern was detected, and the signal-to-noise ratio of the Doppler shift estimate was shown to be improved by a factor of 2, depending on the extent of spatial coherence loss. These results are shown to agree with a first-order analysis and indicate the advantage of coherent summation for both short-range laser Doppler velocimetry and long-range atmospheric coherent lidar.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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