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1 June 2011 Laser radar in a system perspective
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As a result of recent achievements in the field of laser radars, new options are available for their operation as system components. In addition to complementing and cross-checking one another, system components can generate new synergetic values. In this article, we address various roles and functions that laser radar may perform in a complete system context. Special attention is paid to range-gated imaging ladars operating in conjunction with infrared 2D sensors providing target recognition/identification at long distances and under adverse conditions of natural illumination. The multi- or hyper-spectral features of passive IR or visible sensors may be complemented by multispectral, broadband, tunable or switchable 3D imaging ladar in order to exploit the differences in target reflectance and absorption. This option opens another possibility for multi-spectral, mid-IR ladar to differentiate targets of various types, or to enhance the visualization potential and to facilitate the scene description with small targets like mines or mine-like objects. The recently discovered specificity of Raman scattering in the perturbed sea water makes the long-standing efforts in submarine wake detection more viable. Furthermore, the combination of microwave radar and laser radar, when amplified with new achievements in the fourth generation dual-mode imaging sensors, creates the possibility of single payload configurations suitable for small platforms. Emphasis is also made of the efficiency of Doppler velocimetry for precise vehicle navigation, such as for advance cruise missile control or autonomous landing. Finally, recent advances in coherent micro-ladars for optical coherence tomography now permit the reconstruction of time resolved 3D (i.e., 4D) dynamics of blood flow in heart vessels.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Vasyl Molebny, Gary Kamerman, and Ove Steinvall "Laser radar in a system perspective", Proc. SPIE 8037, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XVI, 803709 (1 June 2011);

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