Instrumentation, Techniques, and Measurement

Using an eye-safe laser rangefinder to assist active and passive electro-optical sensor performance prediction in low visibility conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Ove Steinvall, Rolf Persson, Folke Berglund, Ove Gustafsson, Johan Öhgren, Frank Gustafsson

Laser Systems Group, Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI, P.O. Box 1165, SE 581 11, Linköping, Sweden

Opt. Eng. 54(7), 074103 (Jul 21, 2015). doi:10.1117/1.OE.54.7.074103
History: Received January 26, 2015; Accepted June 15, 2015
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Abstract.  Laser rangefinders are used in various electro-optical (EO) fire control systems. They often operate at eye-safe wavelengths around 1.55μm, which extends their utility. The paper investigates the use of a modified eye-safe laser rangefinder at 1.55μm to obtain information on atmospheric attenuation and couple that information to the performance of active and passive EO sensors with an emphasis of lower visibility conditions. Such information can be of great value both for estimating own sensor capabilities at a given moment as well as estimating the threat capability. One obvious example is ship defense where it is difficult to obtain visibility along variable and slant atmospheric paths, especially in darkness. The experimental equipment and the results from measurements of atmospheric backscatter along various atmospheric paths are presented. The backscatter curve is used to evaluate the extinction. These extinction values are compared with those deduced from a point visibility meter and from echo measurements against two similar nets positioned at two ranges from the sensor. TV and IR images of test targets along a 1.8 km path close to sea surface in the Baltic Sea were collected in parallel with the lidar. A weather station and a scintillometer collected weather and turbulence parameters. Results correlating the lidar attenuation with the imaging performance will be given.

© 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Ove Steinvall ; Rolf Persson ; Folke Berglund ; Ove Gustafsson ; Johan Öhgren, et al.
"Using an eye-safe laser rangefinder to assist active and passive electro-optical sensor performance prediction in low visibility conditions", Opt. Eng. 54(7), 074103 (Jul 21, 2015). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.54.7.074103


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