Abstract

A frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) lidar is demonstrated with heterodyne detection. The lidar transmitter utilizes an electro-optic I/Q modulator for the first time to generate carrier-suppressed and frequency-shifted FM modulation. This eliminates the need for an acousto-optic frequency shifter commonly used in heterodyne lidar transmitters. It also allows the use of a much wider modulation bandwidth to improve the range resolution. The capability of complex optical field modulation of the I/Q modulator provides an additional degree of freedom compared with an intensity modulator, which will benefit future lidar applications.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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