Ranging Performance

The RangePRO family of rangefinders identify and extract real returns even under conditions that result in low signal-to-noise ratios.

When employing eye-safe levels of output energy, the challenge to detect targets becomes even greater.  RangePRO uses optimised signal processing algorithms to extract low signals from background noise, without the need for expensive APD type detectors.

Ranging performance is a function of many more factors than the laser output. It is also a function of the target intercept area, the amount of the laser beam intercepted by the target; target reflectivity, angle of the target to the beam; and the prevailing atmospheric conditions.

Target reflectivity refers specifically to diffuse reflectivity and is often referred to as albedo on a scale of 0 to 1.

To be most meaningful it should be expressed at the wavelength of the laser transmitter. In the case of a RangePRO model, this is at 1,570nm. Most ranging requirements and specifications are qualified for Standard Clear conditions and may go into more detail relating to airborne particulate matter, gas concentrations and vapour.

Atmospheric conditions are summarised in the table below:

Atmospheric Condition Sea-level Visibility (km)
Exceptionally Clear 60
Standard Clear 23.5
Light Haze 8
Heavy Haze 3

Table: Atmospheric Conditions

Some typical target areas are shown in the table below. Note that the target needs to be interpreted as to the actual intercept area.

Target Typical Target Area (m2)
Man-size 1
Small vehicle (e.g. jeep) 5.3 (2.3 x 2.3m)
Large vehicle (e.g. tank) 12
Small Building 20
Large Building 60

Table: Typical Target Sizes

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