Accuracy of optical radar increased

An international consortium is working to implement a new approach to increase the accuracy of optical radar’s function.

An optical radar is a device for estimating the distance, comprised of emitter sending an optical signal (for example laser beam), a receiver catching the signal reflected by various objects around the radar, and a data processing system, creating the picture of the surrounding landscape by the specific differences and delay times between the outgoing and incoming signals.

Earlier researches from SPbPU with colleagues from Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology and University of Oulu have developed an optical transmitter increasing the accuracy of optical radars nearly ten-fold. These are record indicators. Such results were achieved by applying shorter optical pulses, which duration is about one nanosecond, for the scanning procedure.

Reducing the pulse length while maintaining its power can significantly improve its accuracy: the typical indicators in similar devices are 30-40 V / 3-5 ns, while the device created in SPbPU demonstrates 40V / 1 ns, this is a unique achievement. This device might find a broad application range in shipbuilding, automobile, aircraft manufacturing, optical detection, and electronic equipment.

The aim of scientific consortium is to continue the collaboration for improving the characteristics of the optical emitter, in particular, to increase the radiating power, the pulse repetition rate and the transition to subnanosecond area.

The first steps in the development, technological implementation and experimental study of the device were taken in cooperation of University of Oulu, Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. Currently, the equipment is almost collected for metrological study, which will be held at SPbPU. Leibniz University of Hanover will provide technological support for the development of silicon switch with a drastically (1-2 orders of magnitude) increased frequency of repetition, which should significantly improve the accuracy and reduce measurement time.