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6 September 2011 Quantum enhancement of a coherent ladar receiver using phase-sensitive amplification
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We demonstrate a balanced-homodyne LADAR receiver employing a phase-sensitive amplifier (PSA) to raise the effective photon detection efficiency (PDE) to nearly 100%. Since typical LADAR receivers suffer from losses in the receive optical train that routinely limit overall PDE to less than 50% thus degrading SNR, PSA can provide significant improvement through amplification with noise figure near 0 dB. Receiver inefficiencies arise from sub-unity quantum efficiency, array fill factors, signal-local oscillator mixing efficiency (in coherent receivers), etc. The quantum-enhanced LADAR receiver described herein is employed in target discrimination scenarios as well as in imaging applications. We present results showing the improvement in detection performance achieved with a PSA, and discuss the performance advantage when compared to the use of a phase-insensitive amplifier, which cannot amplify noiselessly.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

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