February 2023, Newsletter
In this issue of e-Lumination, we take a deep dive into LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, its features and uses in surveillance.
– From The Director’s Desk
“Lidar uses ultraviolet, visible, or near infrared light to image objects”
LIDAR is an acronym of “light detection and ranging”. It is a method for determining ranges by targeting an object or a surface with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. It is sometimes called 3-D laser scanning, a special combination of 3-D scanning and laser scanning.LIDAR has terrestrial, airborne, and mobile applications.
Components of LIDAR system:
Laser of 600–1000 nm lasers are most common for non-scientific applications. One common alternative, 1550 nm lasers, are eye-safe at relatively high power levels since this wavelength is not strongly absorbed by the eye
Transceiver generates laser beam and captures laser energy scattered/reflected from target.
A Laser Scanner has three sub-components: the opto mechanical scanner, the ranging unit, and the control processing unit.
POS(IMU & GPS) measures “sensor” position and orientation, Inertial measurement systems also contain accelerometers to measure the velocity.
Computer that integrates/controls interaction of all of the above and stores requisite data generated.
Usage of LIDAR
Video Surveillance uses LIDAR to detect threats with pinpoint accuracy, reduce false alarms and guard fatigue, therefore significantly reducing staff and operating expenses.
Surveyors: It is possible to survey both land and bodies of water by LIDAR.
Archaeologists: Planning field campaigns, creating maps that are hidden beneath canopies or other forms of vegetation.
Self-driving cars: Due to the ability to form 3D maps by detecting the distances to objects in its vicinity, this technology allows self-driving cars to sense or ‘see’ these objects and react accordingly
Military : A robotic Boeing AH-6 used LiDAR to fly solo and avoid obstacles. There are stealth nuclear cruise missiles and a counter-mind Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) both of which use LiDAR technology.
Apple (iPhone and iPad) : Apple has recently released several products like iPhone 12 Pro which now contain LiDAR abilities to improve ARKit applications (augmented reality experiences) and to more accurately measure the surrounding environment.