The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology has launched a trans-national research project “LIANDRI – Advancing time-of-flight technology for high-performance light detection and ranging”.
The goal of the project is to bridge innovative yet application-driven research on photonic sensing with near-future exploitation in the fields of automated driving and industrial manufacturing.
In the medium term, LIANDRI’s findings will enable cars to recognize and identify distant yet small obstacles along road infrastructure, while robots in future factories will be able to more efficiently perform manufacturing tasks that require precise alignment and tooling procedures.
By introducing photonics – a key enabling technology defined by its developments in performance extending beyond those found in state-of-the-art technology, sensor systems are progressing in particular in terms of their range and resolution.
LIDAR technology can 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.
The advantages of LIDAR technology with respect to its radar counterpart are manifold. In the case of automated driving, the “digital horizon” will be through a seamless acquisition of objects over a range exceeding 200 meters. The simultaneous provision of high-resolution images will enable the identification of objects along the traffic infrastructure and will extend the skills of future driver assistance systems which could contribute to the widespread adoption of autonomous driving.
LIANDRI is a 3-year project including 4 partners from Austria and Germany. It addresses a multi-disciplinary research agenda that targets innovations in photonics, microelectronics and signal processing and is jointly funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and the European Commission within the ERA-NET Co-Fund. Research partners AIT and the University of Siegen will work closely together with innovative industrial partners as AG and Soft2Tec, which have a long product track record in the field of sensing and 3D camera technology.
Source: Press Release AIT