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High Resolution Enhancement for 3D LiDAR Systems


The Orbiting Actuated 3D Spinning Sensor Device can be added to a LiDAR System to create High-Resolution 3D composite mages.

3D sensors such as spinning light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors have been applied to numerous applications including additive manufacturing, defect detection, target tracking, and autonomous vehicle sensing capability. Current LiDAR systems have limitations to capture a comprehensive view and are costly to produce.

3D scanning/imagery have become increasingly important capabilities for sensing equipment. One of the most popular types incorporates spinning sensor to scan a horizontal strip in a 360-degree range. Whether they are the small, inexpensive, single sensor version or the higher-end, expensive multi-sensor LiDAR, they all are limited by their repeated sampling of a small region/strips of the actual environment. This creates an image composed of a set of discrete horizontal planes. Typically, the 360° horizontally scanned view is composed of densely spaced data points, yielding high resolution on a single axis, typically around 0.02°. The vertical scanning is limited to the number of sensors in the LiDAR. Normally, there is only one horizontal plane per sensor, which produces a vertical stack of planes. These planes are separated by the viewing angle of each sensor. For a mid-sized LiDAR with 16 sensors, this produces a vertical resolution of approximately 2°. The difference in the horizontal to vertical resolution is 100:1. There are effective dead-zones in the scans between the horizontal planes. If the points that are scanned horizontally were dispersed to cover the dead-zones between vertical scans, the effective resolution could be increased without increasing the number of points to process or adding additional sensors/LiDARs. The Orbiting Actuated 3D Spinning Sensor device accomplishes this increase in effective resolution with minimal additional hardware or expense.

Technology Category Transportation Security & Explosives Characterization Solutions
Stage of Development Prototype

William T. Sutherland
John Bray

US Patent number US11,086,018; US11,448,766 
Partnerships Sought License
DHS Component U.S. Secret Service
Contact Information T2C@hq.dhs.gov

For a more detailed description download the PDF below.

Attachment Ext. Size Date
High Resolution Enhancement for 3d Lidar Systems PDF 1.80 MB 08/22/2023
Last Updated: 09/05/2023
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