22 February 2017 Disruptive laser diode source for embedded LIDAR sensors
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Proceedings Volume 10086, High-Power Diode Laser Technology XV; 100860V (2017) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250197
Event: SPIE LASE, 2017, San Francisco, California, United States
Abstract
Active imaging based on laser illumination is used in various fields such as medicine, security, defense, civil engineering and in the automotive sector. In this last domain, research and development to bring autonomous vehicles on the roads has been intensified these last years with an emphasis on lidar technology that is probably the key to achieve full automation level. Based on time-of-flight measurements, the profile of objects can be measured together with their location in various conditions, creating a 3D mapping of the environment. To be embedded on a vehicle as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), these sensors require compactness, low-cost and reliability, as it is provided by a flash lidar. An attractive candidate, especially with respect to cost reduction, for the laser source integrated in these devices is certainly laser diodes as long as they can provide sufficiently short pulses with a high energy.

A recent breakthrough in laser diode and diode driver technology made by Quantel (Les Ulis, France) now allows laser emission higher than 1 mJ with pulses as short as 12 ns in a footprint of 4x5 cm2 (including both the laser diode and driver) and an electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency of the whole laser diode source higher than 25% at this level of energy. The components used for the laser source presented here can all be manufactured at low cost. In particular, instead of having several individual laser diodes positioned side by side, the laser diodes are monolithically integrated on a single semiconductor chip. The chips are then integrated directly on the driver board in a single assembly step. These laser sources emit in the range of 800-1000 nm and their emission is considered to be eye safe when taking into account the high divergence of the output beam and the aperture of possible macro lenses so that they can be used for end consumer applications. Experimental characterization of these state-of-the-art pulsed laser diode sources will be given. Future work leads will be discussed for miniaturization of the laser diode and drastic cost reduction.
© (2017) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Celine Canal, Celine Canal, Arnaud Laugustin, Arnaud Laugustin, Andreas Kohl, Andreas Kohl, Olivier Rabot, Olivier Rabot, } "Disruptive laser diode source for embedded LIDAR sensors", Proc. SPIE 10086, High-Power Diode Laser Technology XV, 100860V (22 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2250197; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250197
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