Autonomous vehicles Laser Scanning Lidar safety Technology

White Paper Describes Novel Automotive Lidar

image of Technical White Paper on Baraja Lidar
Technical White Paper on Baraja Lidar

This white paper provided by Yannick Lize, VP of R&D at Baraja provides a technical introduction to Baraja Spectrum-Scan lidar for autonomous vehicles.

Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is one of the primary sensors used for autonomous vehicles as it provides dense, highly detailed 3D point clouds of the environment, where each pixel is a true measurement of distance [1]. While LiDAR has been used for decades in remote sensing, it has only been in the last 20 years where it has enabled significant advances in autonomy, starting predominantly with the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2004 and 2005 [2].

The use of an array of laser diodes, spinning 360° to produce an image-like pointcloud gave roboticists an enormous boost in sensing the environment around the vehicle, compared to the low resolution LiDARs previously available, and has been a foundational technology for the growth of autonomous vehicle effort across the world.

A LiDAR sensor that can actually be deployed on commercial vehicles at large volumes, however, requires a novel technology that has been conceptualized for the end-use in mind: high-performance, reliable, and amenable to high volume manufacturing. The performance requirements alone clearly show that traditional methods of beamsteering have fundamental limitations, and even many of the next generation beam steering mechanisms have incredible challenges to achieve the lifetime requirements for automotive [3].

Baraja Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR is an approach to automotive LiDAR that is conceptually elegant: at the core, a wavelength-tunable laser is used as the light source, and by coupling to a dispersive element, such as a prism, beamsteering in one dimension is achieved without any mechanical motion.

In this white paper, we will describe the overall system architecture (Section 2.1), with details on the wavelength tuning mechanism (Section 2.2), the approach to ranging (Section 2.3), the coaxial configuration (Section 2.4) and the method of separating the steering optics from the laser and receiver by use of fiber-optic connectivity (Section 2.6).

Subsequently, we discuss two key performance benefits of Baraja SpectrumScan™ long distance ranging (Section 3.1) and low divergence laser beams (Section 3.2).

Finally, in Section 4, we discuss three major advantages of Baraja SpectrumScan™ compared to other LiDAR technologies: achieving automotive reliability (Section 4.1), integration of the LiDAR sensor to the vehicle windshield (Section 4.2), and immunity to interference from other LiDAR sensors (Section 4.3).

For the complete White Paper CLICK HERE.

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