Comparison of the leading-edge timing walk in pulsed TOF laser range finding with avalanche bipolar junction transistor (BJT) and metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) switch based laser diode drivers
Timing walk error in pulsed time-of-flight based laser range finding was studied using two different types of laser diode drivers. The study compares avalanche bipolar junction transistor (BJT) and metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor switch based laser pulse drivers, both producing 1.35 ns current pulse length (full width at half maximum), and investigates how the slowly rising part of the current pulse of the avalanche BJT based driver affects the leading edge timing walk. The walk error was measured to be very similar with both drivers within an input signal dynamic range of 1:10 000 (receiver bandwidth of 700 MHz) but increased rapidly with the avalanche BJT based driver at higher values of dynamic range. The slowly rising part does not exist in the current pulse produced by the metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) based laser driver, and thus the MOS based driver can be utilized in a wider dynamic range.