Lidar

Lidar

Light Detection and Ranging, a remote sensing method using light in the form of pulsed laser to measure variable distance.

Lidar, or Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of pulsed laser to measure ranges or variable distances. Lidar works much like radar or sonar which use sound or radio waves to discover something which cannot be seen. Except Lidar uses light, in the form of lasers, which reflect back to the Lidar device and allow that device to build a three dimensional map. Lidar is used by geographers, atmospheric scientists, oceanographers, factory robots and self-driving cars.

History

In 1960, Theodore Maiman built and demonstrated the first practical laser, which was used in 1962 by MIT scientists to measure the distance between the Earth and the Moon with a reflected laser beam. In 1965, Stanford Research Institutes Ronald Collins filed a patent for the laser-radar, Lidar, system to study Earth's atmosphere and weather. In 1969, Daniel Hickman and John Hogg published a scientific paper describing how airborne Lidar could be used for measuring ocean depth.

In 1971 Lidar was used by Apollo 15 astronauts to map the Moon's surface. In 1974, Alan Carswell of York University in Toronto invents a laser range-finder which perfects the possibility of scanning a laser remotely to make maps. The first textbook on Lidar was published in 1976.

In 1985, Optech, Alan Carswell's company, begins selling the Larsen-500, one of the earliest commercial Lidar systems.

NASA brought Lidar into space on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1994 to study Earth's atmosphere from space in an experiment called LITE. In 2008 NASA's Phoenix Lander brought an Optech Lidar scanner to Mars to study the planet's atmosphere.

In 2005 Lidar systems were used as the eyes behind self-driving cars in the United States military's DARPA Grand Challenge. Darpa announced in 2015 the creation of Sweeper, a miniature Lidar system. Sweeper stands for Short-Range Wide-field-of-view Extremely agile Electronically steered Photonic EmitteR.

Geography, Oceanography and Atmosphere

In the use cases for geographic, oceanographic or atmospheric study, Lidar is used with a specialized GPS receiver often from an airplane or helicopter to acquire data over broad areas. In these studies, there are two types of Lidar: topographic and bathymetric. Topographic Lidar uses near-infrared lasers to map the land. Bathymetric Lidar uses water-penetrating green light to measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is using Lidar to produce accurate shoreline maps, make digital elevation models for geographic information services and to assist in emergency response operations.

Lidar can also be used in land management and planning, hazard assessment (including lava flows, landslides, tsunamis and floods), forestry, agriculture, geologic mapping, watershed and river surveys, measuring gases and particulates in the atmosphere, archaeological survey, climate monitoring, city planning, meteorology and mining.

Autonomous Driving

Lidar is being used to develop autonomous vehicles, as it offers computer-friendly data in the form of exact measurements which allows the vehicle to respond the terrain around. Cameras can deliver similar detail but require machine-learning software to translate the 2D images into 3D understanding and Radar systems don't offer the necessary resolution.

Lidar allows vehicles to create a comprehensive 3D map of the terrain around it and an attached computer would be able to distinguish the objects from one another and respond to the difference between a truck or a child. However, Lidar is unable to read signs and they can be disrupted in the case of limited visibility, and the current suggestion would be to use Lidar with a camera system in those cases.

Timeline

December 12, 2019

Aeva Unveils Lidar on a Chip

Aeva says its high-performance lidar will sell for less than US $500; VW is buying it.

December 11, 2019

Intel's RealSense camera brings hi-res lidar to small form factor.

December 11, 2019

Lidar sensors for combined smart city and AV ecosystem

April 2019

Aeva receives VW investment with smaller, longer-range lidar.

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Application of an airborne pulsed laser for near shore bathymetric measurements

Web

NASA - Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE)

Web

US3446556A - Meteorological lidar system with an improved information display - Google Patents

Web

August 2, 1965

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

All About Lidar, The Laser-Shooting Wonder Box That Could Make Self-Driving Cars

February 6, 2018

How Does LiDAR Remote Sensing Work? Light Detection and Ranging

November 24, 2014

Visualization of LIDAR data

June 24, 2011

What is LiDAR?

February 28, 2014

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Sowmya Ramasubramanian
November 25, 2020
The Hindu
The team recorded over 19 hours of audio and were able to collect both spoken digits and music played by a computer speaker and TV soundbar, with over 90% accuracy, it said.
Anuj Bhatia
November 23, 2020
The Indian Express
Major tech companies like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon are designing their products with accessibility features so that people with disabilities can use them with ease.
Born2Global Centre
November 19, 2020
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ -- Autonomous a2z, a member company of Born2Global Centre and Sejong Technopark, has recently received a seed investment of US$1.9M from angel...
Research and Markets
November 18, 2020
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ -- The "GIS in Disaster Management Market Research Report: By Offering, Deployment, Disaster Type, Technology, Application, End User - Global...
Jonathan Chadwick
November 18, 2020
Mail Online
US experts found they can perform a remote eavesdropping attack on a Xiaomi Roborock robot cleaner by remotely accessing its Lidar readings.
Defense Metals Corp.
November 18, 2020
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ - Defense Metals Corp. ("Defense Metals") (TSXV: DEFN) (OTCQB: DFMTF) (FSE: 35D) is pleased to announce that as part of its ongoing baseline...
Defense Metals Corp.
November 18, 2020
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ - Defense Metals Corp. ("Defense Metals") (TSXV: DEFN) (OTCQB: DFMTF) (FSE: 35D) is pleased to announce that as part of its ongoing baseline...
Sophie Curtis
November 14, 2020
Mail Online
With four new iPhone 12 devices to choose from, this is Apple's biggest release ever, offering customers a range of options based on their requirements and budgets.
Science X staff
November 13, 2020
phys.org
Scanning lasers--from barcode scanners at the supermarket to cameras on newer smartphones--are an indispensable part of our daily lives, relying on lasers and detectors for pinpoint precision.
Lisa Eadicicco
November 13, 2020
Business Insider
Apple's iPhone 12 Pro Max has a better zoom camera and longer battery life, but its massive screen is the biggest reason why it stands out.
IDTechEx
November 13, 2020
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ -- A comprehensive study and market assessment of 3D lidar, with a focus on the automotive sector, reveals that while the market for lidar has...
November 13, 2020
The Indian Express
There are no details provided about the iPhone 12 Pro Max's repairability in the teardown video. However, in an earlier teardown video, we saw that a display replacement would allow the phone to work, but not properly, with other parts dysfunctioning like the TrueDepth camera sensor.
Science X staff
November 12, 2020
phys.org
Modern communications technology, regardless of use, relies on a similar formula: devices send signals and information through data centers, towers and satellites en route to their final destination. The effectiveness of the communication relies on how well that information travels, and there are a variety of factors that can slow down that journey--geography, weather and more.
Matthew Panzarino
November 9, 2020
TechCrunch
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is probably the easiest of all of the new iPhone 12 models to review. It's huge and it has a really, really great camera. Probably one of the best cameras ever in a smartphone if not the best. For those of you coming from an iPhone "Max" or "Plus" model [...]
Nilay Patel
November 9, 2020
The Verge
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest, most equipped, and most expensive iPhone you can buy this year. It has a larger screen, larger battery, and larger main camera sensor compared to the other iPhone 12 models. But it's so big that you really have to commit to the big phone life with it.
Scott Stein
November 7, 2020
CNET
The iPhone 12 Pro and 2020 iPad Pro have a new sensor that adds depth scanning for better photos, but the future points to AR glasses and more. We've been testing it out.
October 28, 2020
The Indian Express
The LiDar sensor on the iPhone 12 Pro models is capable of creating a three-dimensional model of things you point it towards.
Romain Dillet
November 5, 2020
TechCrunch
Apple has released iOS 14.2 today. It includes multiple new features as well as some important bug fixes and security updates. Among other things, this release introduces over 100 new emojis. You'll find a transgender flag, a smiling face with tear, pinched fingers, two people hugging, some insects and animals, a disguised face and more. [...]
November 1, 2020
DNA India
iPhones can now alert visually impaired how far away others are - Apart from detecting the presence of people, it also measures the distance to people in the view of the iPhone`s camera, TechCrunch reported on Saturday.
Gege Li
August 12, 2020
New Scientist
The European Space Agency shines a laser beam out from the world's most remote research station to study what we're doing to the atmosphere
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References

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