Vol. 51, Issue 1, pp. 97-107
intensity modulator, optical pulse generator, pulsed LiDAR, free-space communications
A simple optical pulse generation scheme for pulsed light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and free-space communications is proposed and experimentally and numerically demonstrated, in which continuous-wave light emitted by a distributed feedback-laser diode (DFB-LD) is modulated by a lithium-niobate Mach–Zehnder intensity modulator to generate optical short pulses, and an Er-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) is used to boost transmitting light power. Possibilities of intensity modulators for high speed communications being used to generate optical short pulses for low speed pulsed LiDAR are investigated. The influences of bias voltage of intensity modulator and bit rate of modulation signal on the generated optical pulses are discussed. The pulse width obtained by using the return to zero signal with 33% duty cycle on bit rate of 2.5 and 5 Gbit/s is respectively 128.0 and 63.2 ps, and the corresponding nominal accuracy of pulsed LiDAR is respectively 19.2 and 9.5 mm, and low repetition frequency required by pulsed LiDAR is achieved by coding to high-speed modulation signal. The system performance for free-space communications and pulsed LiDAR is evaluated, respectively. We believe that the proposed scheme is suitable for the integrated system of pulsed LiDAR and free-space communications.