Ultrafast laser control steering system: the terminator of future lidar?

According to MAMS, in the near future, autopilot will use a steering system based on laser beam based , which is faster than based on the radio waves current system. This technology is better and more efficient than the existing technology to avoid accident system.

According to a report released by the Purdue University, as researchers now say, laser beam control is much faster than any automatic steering system using a phased antenna array (phased antenna array) technology. The steering system is based on the interaction between the pulsed laser and the silicon substrate surface.The pulsed laser is generated by a mode locked laser with frequency comb spectrum.

A laser beam based steering device can scan large angles at nanosecond or picosecond time, while the existing technology requires a microsecond time to complete.

"Compared to existing technologies, the complexity of the technology is greatly reduced and the power waste is lower," Amr Shaltout, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford University's School of material science and engineering, proposed the idea, "the technology combines two different fields of Technology: nano optics (the behavior of light at nanoscale).Nano optics (the behavior of light at nanometer level)super surface and ultrafast optics.

Fast scan means higher frame rate, which also requires high resolution output for application. The steering device based on the laser beam does not require any additional power and is compatible with the chip. It is reported that the interaction between light and matter based on super surface can be integrated into patterned silicon films.

Brongersma, a professor of materials science and engineering at the Stanford University, said, "this lays the foundation for all nanoscale electronic circuits that provide the exciting function of laser beam steering."

The laser radar (LiDAR) used for autopilot is similar to radar, but it does not use the radio waves returned by the surface of the object, but using infrared or visible light. That's why many autopilot cars are equipped with a strange rotating device on the top. The steering device based on laser beam can replace this expensive device, so as to reduce the overall cost. "This seems to be a subversive solution," says Vladimir Shalaev of Purdue University. "In the future, there will be a huge change in this huge and emerging industry in auto driving."

According to the report, the laser beam based steering system can be used in other fields, such as space flight, radar, imaging, marking scanning, archaeology, mapping, robotics, and other similar fields, in addition to the use of autopilot.

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