ISI together with a team of partners has developed an imaging LIDAR system based on a silicon photon counting array detector for landing on the Martian or Lunar surface for the European Space Agency. This challenging development has involved pushing the boundaries of existing LIDAR technologies. The final instrument operates over an enormous dynamic range of > 106 with the distance to the target varying from a few metres up to 5 km. The range resolution approaches 2 cm with the instrument capable of making 2 million range measurements every second.
To recover the complete field of view (FOV) of 20 degrees, the LIDAR used a unique 256 pixel Geiger mode array detector combined with a state of the art scanning system. The device has been initially tested on the ground against a variety of targets with the excellent measurement obtained from 100 m distance (including Joe’s car!)