We present four receiver designs for a ladar system, based on an optical parametric amplifier, that is designed to collect returns from glint targets. After coupling the return energy into periodically poled lithium niobate, the target backscatter is detected with either an infrared camera or a CCD array. Assuming reasonable detector and system characteristics, the sensitivity of each design is then evaluated by setting the receiver SNR detection threshold equal to one and using the minimum transmitted energy as the figure of merit. Through numerical analysis, we show that an upconversion receiver followed by a visible CCD array offers the best trade-off between sensitivity and practical design for airborne ladar applications. © 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.