26 June 2017 Novel short-pulse laser diode source for high-resolution 3D flash lidar
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Abstract
Imaging based on laser illumination is present in various fields of applications 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 the recent years. Among the various technologies currently studied, automotive lidars are a fast-growing one due to their accuracy to detect a wide range of objects at distances up to a few hundreds of meters in various weather conditions. First commercialized devices for ADAS were laser scanners. Since then, new architectures have recently appeared such as solid-state lidar and flash lidar that offer a higher compactness, robustness and a cost reduction. Flash lidars are based on time-of-flight measurements, with the particularity that they do not require beam scanners because only one short laser pulse with a large divergence is used to enlighten the whole scene. Depth of encountered objects can then be recovered from measurement of echoed light at once, hence enabling real-time 3D mapping of the environment. This paper will bring into the picture a cutting edge laser diode source that can deliver millijoule pulses as short as 12 ns, which makes them highly suitable for integration in flash lidars. They provide a 100-kW peak power highly divergent beam in a footprint of 4x5 cm2 (including both the laser diode and driver) and with a 30-% electrical-to-optical efficiency, making them suitable for integration in environments in which compactness and power consumption are a priority. Their emission in the range of 800-1000 nm is considered to be eye safe when taking into account the high divergence of the output beam. An overview of architecture of these state-of-the-art pulsed laser diode sources will be given together with some solutions for their integration in 3D mapping systems. Future work leads will be discussed for miniaturization of the laser diode and drastic cost reduction.
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Celine Canal, Celine Canal, Arnaud Laugustin, Arnaud Laugustin, Andreas Kohl, Andreas Kohl, Olivier Rabot, Olivier Rabot, } "Novel short-pulse laser diode source for high-resolution 3D flash lidar", Proc. SPIE 10332, Videometrics, Range Imaging, and Applications XIV, 103320B (26 June 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2269742; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2269742
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