The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is developing a transportable multi-lidar instrument known as the Integrated Atmospheric Characterization System (IACS). The system will be housed in two shipping containers that will be transported to remote sites on a low-boy trailer. IACS will comprise three lidars: a 355 nm imaging lidar for profiling refractive turbulence, a 355 nm Raman lidar for profiling water vapor, and an aerosol lidar operating at 355 nm as well as 1.064 and 1.627 µm. All of the lidar transmit/receive optics will be on a common mount, pointable at any elevation angle from 10 degrees below horizontal to vertical. The entire system will be computer controlled to facilitate pointing and automatic data acquisition. The purpose of IACS is to characterize optical propagation paths during outdoor tests of electro-optical systems. The tests are anticipated to include ground-to-ground, air-to-ground, and ground-to-air scenarios, so the system must accommodate arbitrary slant paths through the atmosphere, with maximum measurement ranges of 5-10 km. Elevation angle scans will be used to determine atmospheric extinction profiles at the infrared wavelengths, and data from the three wavelengths will be used to determine the aerosol Angstrom coefficient, enabling interpolation of results to other wavelengths in the 355 nm to 1.627 µm region.
One technique to better utilize existing roadway infrastructure is the use of HOV and HOT lanes. Technology to monitor the use of these lanes would assist managers and planners in efficient roadway operation. There are no available occupancy detection systems that perform at acceptable levels of accuracy in permanent field installations. The main goal of this research effort is to assess the possibility of determining passenger use with imaging technology. This is especially challenging because of recent changes in the glass types used by car manufacturers to reduce the solar heat load on the vehicles. We describe in this research a system to use multi-plane imaging with appropriate wavelength selection for sensing passengers in the front and rear seats of vehicles travelling in HOV/HOT lanes. The process of determining the geometric relationships needed, the choice of illumination wavelengths, and the appropriate sensors are described, taking into account driver safety considerations. The paper will also cover the design and implementation of the software for performing the window detection and people counting utilizing both image processing and machine learning techniques. The integration of the final system prototype will be described along with the performance of the system operating at a representative location.
Many techniques have been proposed for active optical remote sensing of the strength of atmospheric refractive turbulence. The early techniques, based on degradation of laser beams by turbulence, were susceptible to artifacts. In 1999, we began investigating a new idea, based on differential image motion (DIM), which is inherently immune to artifacts. The new lidar technique can be seen as a combination of two astronomical instruments: a laser guide star transmitter/receiver and a DIM monitor. The technique was successfully demonstrated on a horizontal path, with a hard-target analog of a lidar, and then a true lidar was developed. Several investigations were carried out first, including an analysis to predict the system's performance; new hard-target field measurements in the vertical direction; development of a robust inversion technique; and wave optics simulations. A brassboard lidar was then constructed and operated in the field, along with instruments to acquire truth data. The tests revealed many problems and pitfalls that were all solvable with engineering changes, and the results served to verify the new lidar technique for profiling turbulence. The results also enabled accurate performance predictions for future versions of the lidar. A transportable turbulence lidar system is currently being developed to support field tests of high-energy lasers.
The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has developed a new type of LIDAR system for monitoring profiles of
atmospheric refractive turbulence. The system makes real-time measurements by projecting a laser beam to form a laser
beacon at several successive altitudes. The beacon is observed with a multiple-aperture telescope and the motion of the
beacon images from each altitude is characterized as the differential image motion variance. An inversion algorithm has
been developed to retrieve the turbulence profile. GTRI built a brassboard version of the LIDAR instrument and tested
it in October and December 2007, with truth data from scintillometers and from balloon-borne microthermal probes. The
tests resulted in the first time-height diagram of the strength of turbulence ever recorded by a LIDAR.
We are developing a new type of lidar for measuring range profiles of atmospheric optical turbulence. The lidar is based on a measurement concept that is immune to artifacts caused by effects such as vibration or defocus. Four different types of analysis and experiment have all shown that a turbulence lidar that can be built from commercially available components will attain a demanding set of performance goals. The lidar is currently being built, with testing scheduled for summer 2007.
We are developing a new type of lidar for measuring range profiles of atmospheric optical turbulence. The lidar is based on a measurement concept that is immune to artifacts caused by effects such as vibration or defocus. Four different types of analysis and experiment have all shown that a turbulence lidar that can be built from commercially available components will attain a demanding set of performance goals. The lidar is currently being built, with testing scheduled for August 2006.
A new type of lidar is under development for measuring profiles of atmospheric optical turbulence. The principle of operation of the lidar is similar to the astronomical seeing instrument known as the Differential Image Motion Monitor, which views natural stars through two or more spatially separated apertures. A series of images is acquired, and the differential motion of the images (which is a measure of the difference in wavefront tilt between the two apertures) is analyzed statistically. The differential image motion variance is then used to find Fried's parameter r0. The lidar operates in a similar manner except that an artificial star is placed at a set of ranges, by focusing the laser beam and range-gating the imager. Sets of images are acquired at each range, and an inversion algorithm is then used to obtain the strength of optical turbulence as a function of range. In order to evaluate the technique in the field and to provide data for inversion algorithm development, a simplified version of the instrument was developed using a CW laser and a hard target carried to various altitudes by a tethered blimp. Truth data were simultaneously acquired with instruments suspended below the blimp. The tests were carried out on a test range at Eglin AFB in November 2004. Some of the resulting data have been analyzed to find the optimum frame rate for ground-based versions of the lidar instrument. Results are consistent with a theory that predicts a maximum rate for statistically independent samples of about 50 per second, for the instrument dimensions and winds speeds of the Eglin tests.
We investigated an edge response of an extended object in a turbulent atmosphere using imagery data acquired with a double-waveband passive imaging system operating in the visible IR wavebands and an actively illuminated optical sensor. We made two findings. We found that the edge response of an extended object is independent of an exposure time, and an atmospheric tilt does not contribute to the image blur of an extended object. In addition, we found that turbulence-induced image blur for an extended object reduces, not increases, with the imager diameter. Therefore, one can reduce the turbulence-induced image blur for an extended object reduces, not increases, with the imager diameter. Therefore, one can reduce the turbulence-induced blur by increasing aperture diameter of an imaging lens. Both findings contradict the predictions of the conventional imaging theory, suggesting that the conventional theory is not applicable to extended anisoplanatic objects. We provided physical interpretation for the results obtained. In addition, we discussed the mitigation techniques that allow us to reduce both turbulence-induced image blur and edge waviness in optical images.
A dual-band imaging system with variable aperture diameter was constructed and horizontal and vertical atmospheric tilt components were measured on a 1-km near-the-ground horizontal path using discrete and extended visible and JR sources. The spatial and temporal tilt statistics were estimated from the recorded data. Tilt structure function, which also characterizes v ariance of the p ointing error caused by anisoplanatism of t he track point to the aim point in the 1 aser projection system, for small angular separation decreases inverse proportionally to the aperture diameter D1 . The tilt structure function is insensitive to sensor vibration. For a point ahead angle of 0.45 mrad the daytime rms pointing enor caused by tilt anisoplanatism is 12 prad for D= 6 cm, and it is 5 prad for D= 40 cm. The tilt power spectral density agrees well with theory. Jt has the "-2/3" power slope, and the ratio of the two knee frequencies is equal to the inverse ratio of the aperture diameters. The tilt temporal conelation increases with the aperture diameter. The temporal conelation scale is 0.25 sec for D=6 cm and it is 1 sec for D= 40 cm. The C measurements made with discrete JR sources and an optical imager agree well with the measurements made with a scintillometer. The structure function for the lateral (Y) tilt exceeds that for the longitudinal (X) tilt, which is inconsistent with the theoretical prediction. We believe that heat-induced turbulence from the JR sources and a wind component parallel to the optical path degraded the measurements of the vertical tilt. Three mitigation techniques were considered including an increase of the aperture diameter, integration of the image edge over the edge angular extent, and averaging of multiple frames. A multi-frame averaging technique is known to be efficient for mitigation of the effects of turbulence induced scintillation and laser speckle. We found that by averaging multiple image frames one can mitigate the effects of tilt anisoplanatism as well. We also found that the edge response for a multi frame averaged image and a single frame image is the same. This allows us to conclude that a multi frame averaging technique for an extended object does not affect the system angular resolution.
This paper describes a covert means of photographing the interiors of moving vehicles at all times of the day or night through clear or tinted windows. The system is called the Georgia Vehicle Occupancy System (GVOS). It utilizes an infrared (IR) strobe light to illuminate passenger and cargo compartments through side windows or the windshield. A high-speed, digital, infrared camera records the images and is capable of providing clear, stop-motion images of the interiors of vehicles moving at highway speeds. A human screener can view these images, or pattern recognition algorithms can be used to count the number of passengers, identify particular individuals, or screen the types and placement of cargo. Examples of vehicle interior images recorded at highway speeds are shown. For homeland security, such a system can be used to screen vehicles entering military bases or other sensitive sites or it can be implemented on highways for identifying and tracking suspicious individuals.
A laboratory prototype of the NEXLASER unattended aerosol and ozone LIDAR was operated in the Atlanta metropolitan area during the ozone season of 2002. An important aspect of an unattended LIDAR system is the ability to automatically assess system problems and correct for them. This paper details the set of tests that have been conducted to verify system performance, discusses how the tests have been incorporated into NEXLASER's operational software, and shows how aerosol and ozone data collected by the system compares to other measurements.
This paper describes the development of a laboratory prototype unattended LIDAR system to measure aerosol profiles to 10km and ozone profiles to 3km. One consideration in an unattended system is a robust, eye-safe optical design that can provide the necessary signal levels and dynamic range to produce profiles at required height, resolution, and accuracy. An equally important consideration is a set of algorithms to compute aerosol and ozone profiles under a range of atmospheric conditions. NEXLASER employs an atmospheric state model to help identify and adapt to the varied conditions it must encounter. The signal-to-noise requirements of the algorithms are demonstrated and related back to hardware design. Performance of the system is demonstrated with simulated atmospheric conditions.
Agnes Scott College and the Georgia Institute of Technology are jointly developing an eye safe atmospheric lidar as a unique hands-on research experience for undergraduates, primarily undergraduate women. Students from both institutions will construct the lidar under the supervision of Agnes Scott and Georgia Tech faculty members. The engineering challenges of making lidar accessible and appropriate for undergraduates are described. The project is intended to serve as a model for other schools.