The ability to extract target features from a ladar Range Resolved Doppler Image (RRDI) can enable target detection, identification, discrimination, and status assessment. Extraction of these features depends on the image processing algorithms, target characteristics, and image quality. The latter in turn depends on ladar transmitter and receiver characteristics, propagation effects, target/beam interactions, and receiver signal processing. In order to develop hardware systems and processing algorithms for a specific application, it is necessary to understand how these factors interact. A modular, high fidelity ladar simulation has been developed which provides modeling of each step from transmitter, through feature extraction.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.