Photonics, Vol. 10, Pages 598: Photonic Signal Processing in Phase-Coded Lidar System
Photonics doi: 10.3390/photonics10050598
The next generation of lidar systems needs to adapt to variable environments with broadened bandwidth for increased resolution. Due to their digital components, conventional lidar systems, especially imaging lidar systems, suffer from limited detector bandwidth and sampling frequency. However, photonics devices can provide a reliable technical solution with high precision and ultra-broad bandwidth. This paper presents a photonic signal processing structure for a phase-coded lidar system. Two acousto-optic modulators (AOMs) are adopted in the proposed architecture. One is used for phase-coded laser signal modulation, and the other is used for demodulation. The echo laser signal is directed to the AOM performing demodulation before the sampling of the detector, accomplishing the multiplication of the echo laser signal and the electric reference signal. The detector is controlled to accumulate the demodulated laser signal. The AOM and detector transfer the correlation calculation from electrical signals processing to photonic signals processing. This photonics-based structure greatly decreases the sampling frequency of the detector without extending the width of the laser pulses, which achieves high resolution with low sampling speed. Photonic signal processing has the promising potential of simultaneously processing signals of multiple pixels. It is going to be an effective solution for imaging lidar systems to increase resolution with available low-cost devices.
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