Abstract

A novel coherent interferometric dual frequency laser radar that merges the concept of laser and radio detection and ranging (ladar and radar, respectively), for both range and velocity measurement, is presented and experimentally demonstrated. The innovative architecture combines the broadband tunability of dual-wavelength optical sources, enabling a dynamic trade-off between precision and robustness in Doppler estimation, with the high stability of low frequency RF sources for the interferometric measure of the target range with extreme accuracy. The possibility to easily reconfigure the employed frequencies, allows to change the Doppler resolution, as well as the range ambiguity and precision, to dynamically adapt the system to reliably operate in different environments. Moreover, the coherent detection allows to enhance the signal to noise ratio reaching excellent performances also with low level of received power. The laboratory characterization provides an estimation of the system performances, in terms of resolution and sensitivity, as well as the indoor demonstration with targets of opportunity proves the effectiveness of the proposed architecture to operate in real scenarios.

© 2016 IEEE

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