Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a novel algorithm that is designed to be integrated with current multi-tone continuous wave (MTCW) lidar technology in order to enhance the capability of lidar to acquire range(distance) of fast-moving targets as well as simultaneous velocimetry measurements.
·Remote sensing and geographical mapping
·Small satellite LiDARs
·Autonomous driving vehicles
Multi-tone continuous wave (MTCW) lidar is a novel, more advanced alternative to the traditional continuous wave lidar systems. MTCW offers advantages such as simultaneous ranging and velocimetry and is widely used in a number of industries such as forestry & oceanography, autonomous vehicles, small satellite systems, among others. However, even the more advanced MTCW lidars rely on coherent detection, a characteristic that negatively affects performance with increasing target speeds. As a result, the ranging capabilities of the CW lidar are diminished through a phenomenon called the Doppler effect (shift), which is a change in the frequency of a wave in relation to the target.
In order to further enhance this technology, the researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a novel algorithm that can be integrated into the MTCW lidars, and via its range extraction methodology, enhance the lidar’s performance by eliminating the adverse impacts of the doppler shift. To do so, the algorithm focuses on the phase of the cross-beatings of the reference and shifted tones and using the interference of the incident and backscattered light, relate the phase information to the range of the target. As a result, MTCW lidar is able to perform both ranging and velocimetry on faster moving targets with high precision.
The researchers have performed numerical analysis and software simulations on the invention as well as initial experiments to determine the limits of the current MTCW lidars via performance testing on slow speed targets.