Researchers in Edinburgh and Bath have developed a new single-photon avalanche (SPAD) detector technology allied with non-local data fusion to generate high resolution three-dimensional depth information of long-range targets for LIDAR  (light detection and ranging) applications.

A pulsed illumination source is used in combination with the single-photon detector to estimate distance, and scanning the scene generates the 3D image. To improve the system's speed and reduce noise, the teams used a co-registered colour digital camera to feed in additional data for the image processing algorithm. This enabled accurate 3D images with colour representation to be reconstructed from data measured at large stand-off distances. 

An Elliot|Martock MDE122 XYZ Flexure Stage with accessories was used in the set-up, and full details of the experiment can be read in Scientific Reports  Volume 9,  Article number: 8075 (2019).