Imaging LADAR System with Ultra High Speed Range Acquisition

Period of Performance: 03/26/1998 - 09/26/1998

$69.8K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Silicon Mountain Design, Inc.
5055 Corporate Plaza Drive,, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

In the almost three decades since its inception, laser radar has progressed from cumbersome laboratory prototypes to reliable field systems. LADAR systems are currently based upon either a pulsed, time of flight measurement technique or a coherent detection scheme. Time of flight measurements systems are effective but suffer from limited spatial resolution and susceptibility to target camouflaging techniques. The coherent modulation technique offers many advantages including increased signal to noise ratio, simplified light sources and a higher immunity to multi-pulse camouflage methods. To date, the primary limitation to the coherent receiver concept is the availability of high speed, low noise detectors which offer a reasonable range, spatial and gray scale resolution. SMD proposes the development of an imaging LADAR that is capable of operating at 2,000,000 fps, and storing 16 images at 256 x 256 resolution. The detector and source are illuminated to form a coherent imaging LADAR system that measures range by modulation of both the source and intensifier gain. The sensor package can be fitted with a filter system to provide multi-spectral LADAR imagery for diverse applications including standard range measurements, atmospheric constituency information, and direct wind detection.