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Quantum Lidar Prototype Works Underwater

images from quantum lidar prototype

For the first time, researchers have demonstrated a quantum lidar prototype system that uses quantum detection technology to acquire 3D images while submerged underwater. The high sensitivity of this system could allow it to capture detailed information even in extremely low-light conditions found underwater.

From PHYS.org by Optica.

“This technology could be useful for a wide range of applications,” said research team member Aurora Maccarone, a Royal Academy of Engineering research fellow from Heriot-Watt University in the United Kingdom. “For example, it could be used to inspect underwater installations, such as underwater wind farm cables and the submerged structure of the turbines. Underwater lidar can also be used for monitoring or surveying submerged archaeology sites and for security and defense applications.”

Obtaining 3D images through ocean water can be challenging because it is light-limited, and any particles in the water will scatter light and distort the image. However, single-photon detection, which is a quantum-based technique, allows very high penetration and works even in low-light conditions.

In Optics Express, researchers from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh describe experiments in which an entire single-photon lidar system was submerged in a large water tank. The new demonstrations bring the technology closer to practical applications compared to the research team’s earlier experiments with underwater single-photon detection, which were performed in carefully controlled laboratory conditions with the optical setup placed outside the water tank and data analysis performed offline.

They also implemented new hardware and software developments that allow the 3D images acquired by the system to be reconstructed in real time.

For the complete article on the quantum lidar prototype CLICK HERE.

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