In 2016, we presented a low SWaP wirelessly controlled MEMS mirror-based LiDAR prototype which utilized an OEM laser rangefinder for distance measurement . The MEMS mirror was run in open loop based on its exceptionally fast design and high repeatability performance. However, to further extend the bandwidth and incorporate necessary eyesafety features, we recently focused on providing mirror position feedback and running the system in closed loop control. Multiple configurations of optical position sensors, mounted on both the front- and the back-side of the MEMS mirror, have been developed and will be presented. In all cases, they include a light source (LED or laser) and a 2D photosensor. The most compact version is mounted on the backside of the MEMS mirror ceramic package and can “view” the mirror‟s backside through openings in the mirror‟s PCB and its ceramic carrier. This version increases the overall size of the MEMS mirror submodule from ~12mm x 12mm x 4mm to ~15mm x 15mm x 7mm. The sensors also include optical and electronic filtering to reduce effects of any interference from the application laser illumination. With relatively simple FPGA-based PID control running at the sample rate of 100 kHz, we could configure the overall response of the system to fully utilize the MEMS mirror‟s native bandwidth which extends well beyond its first resonance. When compared to the simple open loop method of suppressing overshoot and ringing which significantly limits bandwidth utilization, running the mirrors in closed loop control increased the bandwidth to nearly 3.7 times. A 2.0mm diameter integrated MEMS mirror with a resonant frequency of 1300 Hz was limited to 500Hz bandwidth in open loop driving but was increased to ~3kHz bandwidth with the closed loop controller. With that bandwidth it is capable of very sharply defined uniform-velocity scans (sawtooth or triangle waveforms) which are highly desired in scanned mirror LiDAR systems. A 2.4mm diameter mirror with +/-12° of scan angle achieves over 1.3kHz of flat response, allowing sharp triangle waveforms even at 300Hz (600 uniform velocity lines per second). The same methodology is demonstrated with larger, bonded mirrors. Here closed loop control is more challenging due to the additional resonance and a more complex system dynamic. Nevertheless, results are similar - a 5mm diameter mirror bandwidth was increased from ~150Hz to ~500Hz.
Veljko Milanović, Abhishek Kasturi, James Yang, and Frank Hu, "Closed-loop control of gimbal-less MEMS mirrors for increased bandwidth in LiDAR applications," Proc. SPIE 10191, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXII, 101910N (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 12, 2017; Published: 5 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2264069.
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