An energy or direct detection or time-of-flight sensor (a type of incoherent optical detection sensor) used for remote detection and ranging purposes is a useful measurement tool due to its simplicity and high performance in uncluttered environments. A sensor- or top-level design approach has been established [Appl. Opt. 59, 1939 (2020) [CrossRef] ] due to the usefulness of these sensors, and with this, lower-level designs can be performed to optimize the sensor for particular applications. A critical design element of an incoherent optical detection sensor, or any active optical sensor for that matter, is the selection of a best or optimal central operational wavelength. First and foremost, a relevant metric is developed to provide an optimum wavelength. Then, a search for this wavelength is generated given a generic set of components where conditions are best suited for direct detection sensors, i.e., uncluttered environments or space-like, and finally, the search is again carried out for conditions within the Earth’s atmosphere where transmission plays a role.
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