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16 May 2012 Low-cost compact MEMS scanning ladar system for robotic applications
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Future robots and autonomous vehicles require compact low-cost Laser Detection and Ranging (LADAR) systems for autonomous navigation. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) had recently demonstrated a brass-board short-range eye-safe MEMS scanning LADAR system for robotic applications. Boeing Spectrolab is doing a tech-transfer (CRADA) of this system and has built a compact MEMS scanning LADAR system with additional improvements in receiver sensitivity, laser system, and data processing system. Improved system sensitivity, low-cost, miniaturization, and low power consumption are the main goals for the commercialization of this LADAR system. The receiver sensitivity has been improved by 2x using large-area InGaAs PIN detectors with low-noise amplifiers. The FPGA code has been updated to extend the range to 50 meters and detect up to 3 targets per pixel. Range accuracy has been improved through the implementation of an optical T-Zero input line. A compact commercially available erbium fiber laser operating at 1550 nm wavelength is used as a transmitter, thus reducing the size of the LADAR system considerably from the ARL brassboard system. The computer interface has been consolidated to allow image data and configuration data (configuration settings and system status) to pass through a single Ethernet port. In this presentation we will discuss the system architecture and future improvements to receiver sensitivity using avalanche photodiodes.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert Moss, Ping Yuan, Xiaogang Bai, Emilio Quesada, Rengarajan Sudharsanan, Barry L. Stann, John F. Dammann, Mark M. Giza, and William B. Lawler "Low-cost compact MEMS scanning ladar system for robotic applications", Proc. SPIE 8379, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XVII, 837903 (16 May 2012);


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