Microscanning mirror enhances lidar sensors

January 04, 2021 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Microscanning mirror enhances Lidar sensors
For use in highly automated vehicles, the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS has developed a microscanning mirror that, when used in lidar sensors, enables 3D detection of the surroundings at distances of up to 200 metres.

In the next few years, emergency systems such as the evasion assistant will be mandatory in new cars and pave the way for autonomous driving. However, in coming vehicle generations, human drivers will also be obliged to continuously monitor the vehicle systems and the surroundings in order to be able to intervene in dangerous situations. Only in autonomy levels 4 and 5, this will change - the driver can turn to other activities. Surveillance of the environment will then mainly be carried out by lidar sensors, which measure the distance between the vehicle and the object. They recognise the environment and in a way replace the driver's eye. Thus, they represent a decisive building block on the way to safe autonomous driving.

A team of researchers at the Fraunhofer IPMS in Dresden (Germany) has now developed a new type of microscanning mirror, an important component for lidar systems that enables digital vision in three dimensions. The component contributes to the three-dimensional measurement of the environment by steering the scanning laser. The company AEye is already using Fraunhofer’s microscanning mirrors: the specialist in light detection and distance measurement systems for autonomous vehicles uses the novel mirrors in its 4Sight lidar sensor.

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