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Open AccessArticle

Up-Conversion Sensing of 2D Spatially-Modulated Infrared Information-Carrying Beams with Si-Based Cameras

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Communications Engineering Department and I3E, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Avda. de la Universidad s/n, 03202 Elche, Spain
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Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, International University of Sarajevo, Hrasnička cesta 15, 71210 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Computer Science Department, Universidad de Alicante, Ctra. San Vicente s/n, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(12), 3610; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123610
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 26 June 2020
Up-conversion sensing based on optical heterodyning of an IR (infrared) image with a local oscillator laser wave in a nonlinear optical sum-frequency mixing (SFM) process is a practical solution to circumvent some limitations of IR image sensors in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, speed, resolution, or cooling needs in some demanding applications. In this way, the spectral content of an IR image can become spectrally shifted to the visible/near infrared (VIS/NWIR) and then detected with silicon focal plane arrayed sensors (Si-FPA), such as CCD/CMOS (charge-coupled and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor devices). This work is an extension of a previous study where we recently introduced this technique in the context of optical communications, in particular in FSOC (free-space optical communications). Herein, we present an image up-conversion system based on a 1064 nm Nd3+: YVO4 solid-state laser with a KTP (potassium titanyl phosphate) nonlinear crystal located intra-cavity where a laser beam at 1550 nm 2D spatially-modulated with a binary Quick Response (QR) code is mixed, giving an up-converted code image at 631 nm that is detected with an Si-based camera. The underlying technology allows for the extension of other IR spectral allocations, construction of compact receivers at low cost, and provides a natural way for increased protection against eavesdropping. View Full-Text
Keywords: image up-conversion; infrared imaging; free-space laser communications; intra-cavity wavelength conversion; infrared sensing image up-conversion; infrared imaging; free-space laser communications; intra-cavity wavelength conversion; infrared sensing
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Torregrosa, A.J.; Karamehmedović, E.; Maestre, H.; Rico, M.L.; Capmany, J. Up-Conversion Sensing of 2D Spatially-Modulated Infrared Information-Carrying Beams with Si-Based Cameras. Sensors 2020, 20, 3610.

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