Abstract

An interpolation method is described for range measurements of high precision altimetry with repeating intensity modulated continuous wave (IM-CW) lidar waveforms using binary phase shift keying (BPSK), where the range profile is determined by means of a cross-correlation between the digital form of the transmitted signal and the digitized return signal collected by the lidar receiver. This method uses reordering of the array elements in the frequency domain to convert a repeating synthetic pulse signal to single highly interpolated pulse. This is then enhanced further using Richardson–Lucy deconvolution to greatly enhance the resolution of the pulse. We show the sampling resolution and pulse width can be enhanced by about two orders of magnitude using the signal processing algorithms presented, thus breaking the fundamental resolution limit for BPSK modulation of a particular bandwidth and bit rate. We demonstrate the usefulness of this technique for determining cloud and tree canopy thicknesses far beyond this fundamental limit in a lidar not designed for this purpose.

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