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Proceedings Paper

VCSEL-based sensors for distance and velocity
Author(s): Holger Moench; Mark Carpaij; Philipp Gerlach; Stephan Gronenborn; Ralph Gudde; Jochen Hellmig; Johanna Kolb; Alexander van der Lee
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Paper Abstract

VCSEL based sensors can measure distance and velocity in three dimensional space and are already produced in high quantities for professional and consumer applications. Several physical principles are used: VCSELs are applied as infrared illumination for surveillance cameras. High power arrays combined with imaging optics provide a uniform illumination of scenes up to a distance of several hundred meters. Time-of-flight methods use a pulsed VCSEL as light source, either with strong single pulses at low duty cycle or with pulse trains. Because of the sensitivity to background light and the strong decrease of the signal with distance several Watts of laser power are needed at a distance of up to 100m. VCSEL arrays enable power scaling and can provide very short pulses at higher power density. Applications range from extended functions in a smartphone over industrial sensors up to automotive LIDAR for driver assistance and autonomous driving. Self-mixing interference works with coherent laser photons scattered back into the cavity. It is therefore insensitive to environmental light. The method is used to measure target velocity and distance with very high accuracy at distances up to one meter. Single-mode VCSELs with integrated photodiode and grating stabilized polarization enable very compact and cost effective products. Besides the well know application as computer input device new applications with even higher accuracy or for speed over ground measurement in automobiles and up to 250km/h are investigated. All measurement methods exploit the known VCSEL properties like robustness, stability over temperature and the potential for packages with integrated optics and electronics. This makes VCSEL sensors ideally suited for new mass applications in consumer and automotive markets.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 March 2016
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9766, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XX, 97660A (4 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2209320
Show Author Affiliations
Holger Moench, Philips Research Aachen (Germany)
Mark Carpaij, Philips Research Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Philipp Gerlach, Philips GmbH U-L-M Photonics (Germany)
Stephan Gronenborn, Philips Research Aachen (Germany)
Ralph Gudde, Philips Photonics (Netherlands)
Jochen Hellmig, Philips Photonics (Netherlands)
Johanna Kolb, Philips Research Aachen (Germany)
Alexander van der Lee, Philips Research Eindhoven (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9766:
Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XX
Kent D. Choquette; James K. Guenter, Editor(s)

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