Two Generations of Canadian Airborne Active Imaging Systems: Albedos and Elviss


  1. Larochelle, V.
  2. Mathieu, P.
  3. Simard, J-R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
Search and rescue (SAR) and general surveillance missions pose a serious challenge to conventional imaging systems used by current aircraft crews. These systems, which include common CCD cameras, image intensifier devices and thermal imaging sensors, must often work in low-light level and low-visibility conditions to find and identify targets. A new airborne imaging technology has been designed to overcome several of these limitations. The recent developments in laser diode arrays, laser diode beam collimation and gatable micro-channel plate intensifiers have made it possible to build a compact active imaging system, called the Airborne Laser-Based Enhanced Detection and Observation System (ALBEDOS). To demonstrate its potential the system was installed on a helicopter and tested in various scenarios in October 1995. ALBEDOS proved particularly efficient at night and in degraded weather conditions. In addition, it was demonstrated that range gating, aside from eliminating most of the light backscattered by aerosols, provided near-total immunity to blooming effects, particuarly in situations where conventional highly sensitive cameras are blinded. The current oeprational scenarios require to enhance surveillance capability over large areas of coverage, to optimize the detection of humans and small objects and improve the effectiveness of the search aircraft. TRUNCATED
ALBEDOS;Active imaging;Range equation;Airborne Laser-Based Enhanced Detection and Observation System
Report Number
DREV-TM-1999-045 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Sep 1999
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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