The compression of extended, coded sequences allows for laser ranging measurements with low peak power levels. Previous realizations of this approach were restricted by additive noise of direct, incoherent detection. In this work we bring together pulse sequence coding and optical coherent detection to achieve very high sensitivity. Collected sequences with an overall energy equivalent to only 800 photons are successfully compressed. The observed sensitivity agrees with analytic predictions. Compared with incoherent detection, measurement durations are reduced by four orders of magnitude. The protocol is suitable for laser ranging over tens of kilometers, depending on atmospheric conditions.
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