Block diagram of the chirped AM ladar architecture with an image tube receiver.

Long Distance LADAR (LIDAR) Systems and Methods

The US Army seeks a partner to license and commercialize methods for improved long distance laser detection and ranging (LADAR) systems.

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Technology Description

The Technology:
The US Army has developed a ladar system to provide unambiguous range and velocity measurements of long distance targets such as sea-skimming anti-ship missiles. By using the ladar’s range and velocity data, false alarms and clutter objects will be distinguished from incoming missiles at longer ranges (up to 10 km). Because the developed ladar uses an array receiver, it can also provide three-dimensional (3-D) imagery of potential threats at closer ranges (2-3 km) in support of the force protection/situational awareness mission.
The US Army inventions incorporate a chirped amplitude modulation (chirped AM) architecture, a Doppler tracking method using photonic mixing detectors and other techniques for enabling active LADAR and high resolution imagery. The US Army patents in this area will primarily benefit systems that employ a photocathode imaging tube.


  • Distinguishes long distance targets (10 km) while eliminating false alarms and clutter objects
  • Provides three-dimensional (3-D) imagery of potential threats at closer ranges
  • Ability to acquire, process, and display 3D imagery in near real-time, including near real-time frame-to-frame re-registration to compensate for platform and target motion.
  • Improved LADAR design with greater modulation depth across the chirp bandwidth, a more compact chirp generator, and improved thermal management

The Opportunity:

  • Issued US patents 7,570,347 and 7,573,564 are available for license and commercialization
  • Potential for collaboration with US Army scientists and laboratory

Supplemental Technical Information:

  • Anti-ship Missile Tracking with a Chirped AM Ladar – Update: Design, Model Predictions, and Experimental Results
  • Chirped amplitude modulation ladar for range and Doppler measurements and 3-D imaging – Article
  • Chirped Amplitude Modulation Ladar for Range and Doppler Measurements and 3-D Imaging – Presentation
  • For more information, contact:
    Brian Metzger, PhD (406) 994-7782,

    Licensing Instructions:

    In order to apply for license to federally owned technologies, regulations require that specific information be provided regarding your company and plans for commercialization. This information will be incorporated in a license agreement which will be provided for your review prior to signature. All provided information will be considered proprietary and held confidential.

    Apply for a License