Photon counting lidar for long-range detection faces the problem of declining ranging performance caused by background noise. Current anti-noise methods are not robust enough in the case of weak signal and strong background noise, resulting in poor ranging error. In this work, based on the characteristics of the uncertainty of echo signal and noise in photon counting lidar, an entropy-based anti-noise method is proposed to reduce the ranging error under high background noise. Firstly, the photon counting entropy, which is considered as the feature to distinguish signal from noise, is defined to quantify the uncertainty of fluctuation among photon events responding to the Geiger mode avalanche photodiode. Then, the photon counting entropy is combined with a windowing operation to enhance the difference between signal and noise, so as to mitigate the effect of background noise and estimate the time of flight of the laser pulses. Simulation and experimental analysis show that the proposed method improves the anti-noise performance well, and experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method effectively mitigates the effect of background noise to reduce ranging error despite high background noise.
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