We proposed a new premixing method for photon-counting chirped amplitude modulation lidar (PCCAML). Earlier studies used the counting results of the returned signal detected by a Geiger mode avalanche photodiode detector (Gm-APD) to mix with the reference signal, called the postmixing method. We use an alternative method known as the premixing method, in which the reference signal is used to directly modulate the sampling gate width of the Gm-APD, and the mixing of the returned signal and the reference signal is completed before the Gm-APD. This premixing method is more flexible and may perform better than the postmixing method in terms of signal-to-noise ratio by cutting down a separated mixer commonly used in the postmixing lidar system. Furthermore, this premixing method lowers the demand for the sampling frequency of the Gm-APD. It allows the use of a much wider modulation bandwidth to improve the range accuracy and resolution. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to use the premixing method in the PCCAML system, which will benefit future lidar applications.
© 2013 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article