The Development of a Laser Focal Plane Array
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2020 Alameda Padre Serra,, Suite 123, Santa Barbara, CA, 93103
AbstractLadar is becoming increasingly important as a military surveillance, tracking and navigational tool. Current ladar systems use a single pixel combined with a mechanical, two-dimensional scanner to obtain an image. One laser pulse must be transmitted and received for each pixel in the image and considerable processing is required to register the different pixels and assure a coherent two-dimensional image. In addiition the mechanical scanner is complex, decreases reliability and can be adversely affected by high accelerations. The staring, multiple-pixel, imaging, ladar receiver proposed herein, called the Laser Radar Focal Plane Array (LR-FPA) is an important, necessary and innovative advance over existing systems. The benefits resulting from a multiple-pixel receiver include: (1) Covering a large field of view (FOV) with a single pulse. (2) No mechanical scanner is required in many applications. (3) A high laser pulse repetition frequency (PRF) is not required. (4) Pixels are always registered, without processing.
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