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Experimental Laboratory Setup for Single-Photon Counting Laser Altimetry in Planetary Research

Meiré, Stella (2023) Experimental Laboratory Setup for Single-Photon Counting Laser Altimetry in Planetary Research. Master's, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

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Laser altimetry is a technique for precise topographic measurements of planetary surfaces, enabling deeper insights into celestial bodies within the solar system. This master’s thesis explores the potential of single-photon detection technology to enhance laser altimetry in planetary research. The research objective is to investigate a constructed experimental laboratory setup for single-photon counting laser altimetry, aiming to detect laser pulses with the minimum required number of photons. The study begins with characterizing a Single Photon Avalanche Detector (SPAD), determining its quantum efficiency and dark count rate. These parameters lay the foundation for subsequent experiments. The research introduces a method called temporal filtering, utilizing an 80 ns laser pulse to detect laser signals within a short timeframe, enhancing precision in pulse timing determination. The impact of transmission settings of the attenuators, background radiation, and afterpulsing on laser pulse detection is investigated. Results show a non-linear relationship between transmission settings, dark counts, and afterpulse generation, a↵ecting event count accuracy. Remarkably, the experimental setupdemonstrates a high sensitivity, operating at energy levels orders of magnitude lower than typical laser altimetry instruments. This research provides insights into the behavior and performance of single-photon detectors and demonstrates their potential to advance laser altimetry in planetary research. By addressing noise, background radiation, and afterpulsing challenges, this work aims to contribute to improving accuracy and sensitivity in planetary surface measurements.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/201045/
Document Type:Thesis (Master's)
Title:Experimental Laboratory Setup for Single-Photon Counting Laser Altimetry in Planetary Research
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Number of Pages:80
Keywords:Laser Altimeter, Single Photon Counting
Institution:Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Department:Institut für Physik
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Instrument development
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Sensor Systems
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
Deposited By: Grott, Dr.rer.nat. Matthias
Deposited On:19 Dec 2023 08:31
Last Modified:19 Dec 2023 08:31

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