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Expanding range of pulsed range sensors with active projection from spatial light modulators

NCJ Number
Date Published

This article presents improvements for LIDAR-based systems.


LIDAR-based systems measure the time-of-flight of a laser source onto the scene and back to the sensor, building a wide field of view 3D raster image, but as a scanning process, there are problems associated with motion inside the scene over the duration of the scan. By illuminating the entire scene simultaneously using a broad laser pulse, a 2D camera equipped with a high-speed shutter can measure the time-of-flight over the entire field of view (FOV), thereby, recording an instantaneous snapshot of the entire scene; however, spreading the laser reduces the range. So, what is required is a programmable system that can track multiple regions of interest by varying the field of regard to (1) a single direction, (2) the entire FOV, or (3) intermediate views of interest as required by the evolving scene environment. This was the objective of this project.

Date Published: January 1, 2006