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Field tests for round-trip imaging at a 1.4 km distance with change detection and ranging using a short-wave infrared super-continuum laser

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Abstract

Field tests have been conducted of a broadband illuminator for active hyperspectral imaging (HSI) using a short-wave infrared supercontinuum laser (SWIR-SCL). We demonstrated irradiance comparable to the sun for two-way measurements at a 1.4 km distance between laser and target, and performed change detection and ranging. The experimental results suggest that the range resolution of our method is 1.5cm even at the 1.4 km distance. Hence, we demonstrated the possibility to perform HSI with active broadband illumination using the SWIR-SCL. To our knowledge, this experiment is the first-ever to test two-way propagation of the active HSI illumination over a long distance. The 64 W SWIR-SCL provides near sunlight-equivalent illumination over multiple square meters, and the laser could enable HSI 24 h a day, even under a cloud cover, as well as enhanced capabilities such as change detection and ranging.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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