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Opt Express. 2008 Sep 1;16(18):13685-98.

A photon-counting time-of-flight ranging technique developed for the avoidance of range ambiguity at gigahertz clock rates.

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  • 1School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh, UK.


This paper describes a rapid data acquisition photon-counting time-of-flight ranging technique that is designed for the avoidance of range ambiguity, an issue commonly found in high repetition frequency time-off-light systems. The technique transmits a non-periodic pulse train based on the random bin filling of a high frequency time clock. A received pattern is formed from the arrival times of the returning single photons and the correlation between the transmitted and received patterns was used to identify the unique target time-of-flight. The paper describes experiments in laboratory and in free space at over several hundred meters range at clock frequencies of 1GHz. Unambiguous photon-counting range-finding is demonstrated with centimeter accuracy.

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