Modulated Pulsed Source for Microwave Photonic Lidar Applications
This Navy Phase II SBIR effort will develop a packaged, high-speed optical amplitude modulator for use with a high-power, pulsed, blue laser that is being developed for lidar-based detection, ranging, and tracking of underwater objects in an ocean environment. While it is well known that laser sources in the blue/green spectral region increase the achievable range in ocean and coastal environments, only recently have researchers been able to show that the use of RF modulated macro-pulses combined with RF coherent detection can lead to an increase in system sensitivity and target contrast. The increased contrast between target and backscattered signal results because the modulated component of the backscattered signal is significantly reduced due to the random distribution of the scattering elements in a turbid media. The macro-pulse modulators developed under this effort will enable laboratory testing to determine optimal modulation rates for a given set of turbidity conditions as well as enable system level, non-laboratory verification of performance improvements when using modulated macro-pulsed lidar.
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