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Proceedings Paper

Low-cost compact MEMS scanning ladar system for robotic applications
Author(s): Robert Moss; Ping Yuan; Xiaogang Bai; Emilio Quesada; Rengarajan Sudharsanan; Barry L. Stann; John F. Dammann; Mark M. Giza; William B. Lawler
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Paper Abstract

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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 May 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8379, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XVII, 837903 (16 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919804
Show Author Affiliations
Robert Moss, Spectrolab, Inc. (United States)
Ping Yuan, Spectrolab, Inc. (United States)
Xiaogang Bai, Spectrolab, Inc. (United States)
Emilio Quesada, Spectrolab, Inc. (United States)
Rengarajan Sudharsanan, Spectrolab, Inc. (United States)
Barry L. Stann, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
John F. Dammann, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Mark M. Giza, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
William B. Lawler, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8379:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications XVII
Monte D. Turner; Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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