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article imagePhotonic sensing for automated driving

By Tim Sandle     Aug 9, 2018 in Technology
AIT has launched a new trans-national project to develop photonic sensing. The sensors will be suitable for automated driving, to improve autonomous vehicles, and industrial manufacturing.
Light has been used to advance many technological; applications in recent years. Perhaps the most significant is the use of photonics in improving global connectivity through creating faster communication speeds. In relation to this, coherent light beams come with a high bandwidth and they can carry far more information compared with radio frequency or microwave signals.
Photonics is the physical science of light (photon) generation, detection, and manipulation through emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and sensing.
Photonics research has also assisted with developing industrial manufacturing of greater quality, and with helping to build more sensitive and specific tools for sensing the environment.
With a further advancement in this field, The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) has embarked upon a trans-national research project. The project under the banner: "LIANDRI - Advancing time-of-flight technology for high performance light detection and ranging".
The objective of the project is bridge innovative, application-driven investigations into photonic sensing equipment. The aim is to use the experiments that stem out from this research further improve automated driving together with industrial manufacturing.
One of the first projects will be to develop a means for cars to recognize and identify distant objects of a tiny size, randomly distributed along road infrastructure. This will build upon LIDAR technology (light detection and ranging). The researchers hope to exploit time-of-flight measurements so that a short light pulse is emitted and the round-trip time of its reflection from a remote target measured, enabling small objects to be detected.
A second project will be with robotics. Here it is hoped that robots in future factories can be developed to more efficiently undertake manufacturing tasks which need precise alignment and precision. Both of these developments involve LIANDRI seeking to replace current systems with sophisticated photonic alternatives.
The so-called LIDAR technology (which stands for light detection and ranging) will exploit time-of-flight measurements whereby a short light pulse is emitted and the round-trip time of its reflection from a remote target measured. Together with an electronic beam-steering mechanism, a 3D image of the scene is obtained in a short fraction of time, enhancing reliability and reducing size compared to traditional mechanical scanning approaches.
More about photonics, Sensors, autonomous cars, Manufacturing
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