18 January 2024
Coherent launches VCSEL-based illumination module platform for short- and mid-range LiDAR in automotive safety and industrial robotic visionMaterials, networking and laser technology firm Coherent Corp of Saxonburg, PA, USA has introduced of an illumination module platform for short- and mid-range light detection & ranging (LiDAR) in automotive safety and robotic vision in industrial applications. The growing adoption of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in vehicles and of depth sensing in industrial robots is accelerating the demand for compact and flexible LiDAR systems that perform efficiently and reliably, even in the most extreme environments. Using eight 940nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) modules, Coherent has demonstrated a solution with several selectively addressable horizontal slices of the field of illumination (FOI). In addition to offering a compact form factor and what is claimed to be excellent power conversion efficiency, the module is a much lower-cost alternative than using large addressable VCSEL arrays. Coherent has a demonstrator available for customers to explore multiple VCSEL module positioning configurations and scanning algorithms for various depth sensing modalities and types of scenery.
“A powerful aspect of the module platform is the ability to customize an optimized solution for use cases requiring up to 30m of depth sensing in bright daylight. Our illuminators exceed 30% total power conversion efficiency and have a compact footprint, only about a third of the size of a credit card,” says Dr David Ahmari, VP & general manager, Optoelectronic Devices & Modules Business. “To achieve this breakthrough in efficiency and size, we are leveraging our state-of-the-art five-junction VCSEL technology that enables each illuminator module to achieve up to 200W of output power,” he adds. “Our demonstrator is available for customers to evaluate and better envision the expanded universe of applications enabled.”Users will be able to adjust the duration of the driving pulses to achieve both short- and mid-range LiDAR sensing. The FOI slices are dynamically selectable, depending on the number of VCSEL modules and the order in which they are scanned. A voltage supply of only 21V is required, which is much lower, and therefore more efficient, than existing LiDAR technology, it is reckoned. Coherent is showcasing its range of products and innovations for sensing in booth #4805 at Photonics West 2024 in San Francisco (30 January to 1 February). See related items: