From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2018
A novel method of beam steering, utilizing a mass-produced Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), enables a reliable single chip Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) with a large field of view while having minimum moving components. In the single-chip LIDAR, a short-pulsed laser is fired in a synchronous manner to the micromirrors rotation during the transitional state. Since the pulse duration of the laser pulse is substantially short compared to the transitional time of the mirror rotation, virtually the mirror array is frozen in transition at several discrete points, which forms a programmable and blazed grating. The programmable blazed grating efficiently redirects the pulsed light to a single diffraction order among several while employing time of flight measurement. Previously, with a single 905nm nanosecond laser diode and Si avalanche photo diode, a measurement accuracy and rate of <1 cm and 3.34k points/sec, respectively, was demonstrated over a 1m distance range with 48° full field of view and 10 angular resolution. We have also increased the angular resolution by employing multiple laser diodes and a single DMD chip while maintaining a high measurement rate of 3.34k points/s. In addition, we present a pathway to achieve 0.65° resolution with 60° field of view and 23k points/s measurement rate.
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