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Emerging Technologies… LIDAR MAPPS Summer Conference 11 July 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Emerging Technologies… LIDAR MAPPS Summer Conference 11 July 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emerging Technologies… LIDAR MAPPS Summer Conference 11 July 2012

2 Emerging LIDAR Technologies On the market Multiple-output LIDAR Shallow-water bathymetric LIDAR On the market, but needing development Waveform-capture LIDAR On the market, but not yet in our segment Flash LIDAR Photon-counting LIDAR Automotive LIDAR What else do we need? Higher-speed processing Flexible workflows

3 On the market now (1/2) Multiple-output LIDAR What it is Two systems in a plane Two scanners in a box Two receivers in a scanner What it does for us High effective pulse rate  high point density, even in fast aircraft or with wide FOV High effective scan rate  tight along- track spacing, even in fast aircraft or with wide FOV

4 On the market now (2/2) Shallow water bathymetry What it is Standard topographic LIDAR system Switch laser from 1063 nm (infrared) to 532 nm (green) to allow penetration through water Add full-waveform digitizer (bottom returns can be pulses in clear water or “fall-off point” in less clear water) What is does for us High pulse rate compared to deep-water bathymetric LIDAR (up to 100 kHz versus 1 kHz) Low-cost-high-detail mapping in very shallow (<10m deep water)

5 On the market, but needing further development Waveform-capture LIDAR What it is Digitize intensity in small time slices Process data to derive equivalent discrete pulses (on the fly, post- processed) What it does for us Gets beyond the limitations imposed by laser pulse width  small minimum vertical separation between targets a posteriori detection threshold  see less reflective targets Detection of pulse stretching Indicator of sloped surfaces  aids classification Indicator of “porous” surfaces (e.g., tall grases)  potential to improve accuracy Why further development needed? Some accuracy limitation in on-the-fly firmware Slow processing speeds

6 On the market, but not yet in our segment (1/3) Flash LIDAR (e.g., Ball AeroSpace, ASC) What it is Broad-area illumination with a single laser pulse LIDAR “focal plane” measures range to all points in the “scene” What it does for us Light weight, small size, low power  low-altitude UAVs?, man-portable LIDAR mapping? BIM? Limitations Short range (~100 m) “Pixel” count (128 x 128 is state of the art)

7 On the market, but not yet in our segment (2/3) Photon-counting LIDAR (e.g., Lincoln Labs, Sigma Space, Voxtel, etc) What it is Highly-sensitive detector, running in “near constant avalanche mode” Interesting note: Voxtel manufactures arrays up to 256 x 256 What it does for us Low laser power (safety, DC power consumption) Limitations Essentially for night time use only (can’t tell difference between solar photons and laser photons)

8 On the market, but not yet in our segment (3/3) Automotive LIDAR (e.g., IBEO) What it is Developed for automotive industry Scans limited horizontal “slices” at short range What it does for us (potentially) CHEAP!!! ($250?) Light weight, small size, low power  low-altitude UAVs?, man-portable LIDAR mapping? BIM? Limitations Short range (~30 m for 10% reflector) Poor distance resolution (4 cm) Poor angle resolution (0.25 degree) Poor accuracy (10 cm) Programmed for obstacle avoidance, not for mapping

9 What else do we need? High-speed point cloud generation LIDAR raw data capture capabilities have grown explosively Pulse rates double roughly every 2 years Software speed has not grown so fast Result: processing hours per flight hour increased over time Processing hardware speed potential has grown 8-core laptops for field processing Multi-core blade computing in-house Point cloud generation touches many aspects of system use Enabling technology for real-time (in- the-air) point cloud generation Flexible processing solutions Enable customized or “vertical market” workflows User control without jumping between GUIs

10 Summary LIDAR sensor hardware has achieved a high level of productivity Some new technologies enhance productivity and profitability in current “use cases” Some new technologies become “enablers” for: New platforms (e.g., smaller aircraft, UAVs) New markets (high-detail bathymetry, BIM) Additional focus on processing software will allow better exploitation of both today’s and tomorrow’s sensors

11 Thank you!


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