High Bandwidth Solid State Focal Plane Array Readout for Laser Radar System

Period of Performance: 04/27/2006 - 08/27/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Areté Associates
9301 CORBIN AVE Suite 2000
Northridge, CA 91324
Principal Investigator


High-resolution lidar imaging provides fully three-dimensional (3D) images that have distinct advantages in comparison to two-dimensional images. Some of the advantages provided by the additional range information are the ability to reject clutter, to accurately discriminate decoys from targets, and to provide an additional dimension for detection and classification. Areté Associates, in conjunction with its partner MYTeK, proposes research on a LADAR readout that exploits Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers to achieve the high speed sampling necessary for 3D imaging. The proposed receiver exploits VCSELs and high bandwidth detectors and amplifiers developed by the telecommunications industry to provide a compact, high precision, high bandwidth imaging LADAR readout architecture. The proposed readout architecture is independent of detector pitch, allowing low F-number optics, yet accommodates high-pixel-count 2D detector arrays and long range records. The objective of the Phase II program is to develop and demonstrate the proposed readout and in doing so provide a highly refined 3D imaging capability to the Air Force. The Phase II prototype is a 6 x 6 x 40 voxel (az x el x range) system that can be used to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept. The concept can be extended beyond the Phase II configuration in a straightforward fashion to provide an operationally flexible, compact, rugged and low-cost ladar receiver.