Ladar : a mono-static system for sense and avoid applications

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Electro-Optics


Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics


Advisor: Joseph W. Haus


In this thesis we study a laser radar, aka LADAR, system design to be mounted in an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to prevent collisions with other aircraft. This system is called a Sense and Avoid technology and it is designed to anticipate future standards on flying the UAS in civil airspace that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will adopt. Our SAA solution includes a LADAR system that is cued by EO cameras; data from a LADAR system is fused with the existing EO system. The main role of the LADAR system is to confirm the existence of a possible target, thus decreasing the false alarm rate. The LADAR system will also provide an accurate range to the target and track the target to determine its course. The key aspects of this design include a telescope, transmitter/receiver switch, and beam scanner. The telescope consists of two lenses and is used for both transmission and reception of the laser signal. The transmitter/receiver switch provides detection for a long range signal and consists of an avalanche photodiode detector (APD) coupled with a time-to-digital (TDC) converter and a fiber laser. The accuracy of the LADAR system depends on the accuracy of both the beam scanner and the gimbal the system will be placed in. Our system is designed to have less than 1 foot accuracy at ranges approaching 10 km. Each component was tested and the system performance was validated with outdoor experiments to almost 8 km.1


Optical radar, Detectors Design and construction, Drone aircraft Control systems, Airplanes Collision avoidance, Aircraft accidents Prevention, Electrooptical devices, Electrical engineering ; optics; ladar; sense and avoid; mono-static system; unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); laser range and detection

Rights Statement

Copyright 2013, author