Abstract

Two-color laser-ranging systems can be used to estimate the atmospheric delay by measuring the difference in propagation times between two optical pulses transmitted at different wavelengths. The theoretical performance of a cross-correlation differential-timing estimator was analyzed in a recent paper. This paper describes horizontal-path ranging experiments that were conducted using flat diffuse targets and cube-corner reflector arrays. Measurements of the timing accuracy of the cross-correlation estimator, atmospheric delay, received pulse shapes, and signal power spectra are presented. The results are in general agreement with theory and indicate that target speckle can be the dominant noise source when the target is small and is located far from the ranging system or when the target consists of a small number of cube-corner reflectors.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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