Compact NIR micro-LiDAR sensor module for autonomous drone

Credit: InVisage Technologies

InVisage Technologies recently announced its Spark Micro-LiDAR (SML20) module. SML20 module senses structured light patterns with high acuity at a range of 20 meters, even in direct sunlight. SML20, with a sensor module of 8.5mm x 8.5mm x 4mm, can self-navigate at high speed and it is ultra-light, compact, and low power. It is lighter, more power-efficient as compared to conventional LiDAR and comes without all the limitations of ultrasonic and stereo-camera depth sensing systems.

Conventional LiDARs are unsuitable for drones due to their high demands on weight, size and power budgets. SML20 enables effective collision avoidance with small size, minimal weight, and all-inclusive power consumption between 200 and 500 mW on average. It is optimized for the invisible NIR 940-nanometer wavelength thus it has the capability to take advantage of the fact that water in the atmosphere absorbs most of the 940-nanometer infrared light in sunlight, minimizing solar interference with structured light systems. This leads to great performance in direct sunlight.

SML20’s 1.1-micron pixels come with a global electronic shutter that is the only one of its kind at this pixel size. This shutters captures the entire image simultaneously thus circumventing problems associated with rolling shutters. It allows for ultra-fast exposure, allowing for 20-meter ranging with high solar irradiance rejection.

InVisage would soon be releasing a version with extended range at 100m and beyond in the coming quarters.

More information can be found at: InVisage Technologies.


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