University of Oulu

Kostamovaara, J.; Jahromi, S.S.; Keränen, P. Temporal and Spatial Focusing in SPAD-Based Solid-State Pulsed Time-of-Flight Laser Range Imaging. Sensors 2020, 20, 5973

Temporal and spatial focusing in SPAD-based solid-state pulsed time-of-flight laser range imaging

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Author: Kostamovaara, Juha1; Jahromi, Sahba S.1; Keränen, Pekka1
Organizations: 1Circuits and Systems Research Group, ITEE Faculty, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 6.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-24


The relation between signal and background noise strengths in single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD)-based pulsed time-of-flight 3-D range imaging is analyzed on the assumption that the SPAD detector is operating in the single photon detection mode. Several practical measurement cases using a 256-pixel solid-state pulsed time-of-flight (TOF) line profiler are presented and analyzed in the light of the resulting analysis. It is shown that in this case it is advantageous to concentrate the available optical average power in short, intensive pulses and to focus the optical energy in spatial terms. In 3-D range imaging, this could be achieved by using block-based illumination instead of the regularly used flood illumination. One modification of this approach could be a source that would illuminate the system FOV only in narrow laser stripes. It is shown that a 256-pixel SPAD-based pulsed TOF line profiler following these design principles can achieve a measurement range of 5–10 m to non-cooperative targets at a rate of ~10 lines/s under bright sunlight conditions using an average optical power of only 260 µW.

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Series: Sensors
ISSN: 1424-8220
ISSN-E: 1424-8220
ISSN-L: 1424-8220
Volume: 20
Issue: 21
Article number: 5973
DOI: 10.3390/s20215973
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland under Contract 317144.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 317144
Detailed Information: 317144 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (