In a Nutshell
Leddar™ is a proprietary LiDAR (acronym for light detection and ranging) technology that can detect, locate and measure objects, including liquids and people, in a given field of view. It is essentially an ensemble of software, algorithms and know-hows that are used to design or optimize various types of solid-state LiDAR sensors. The Leddar technology has been created, developed and commercialized by LeddarTech, and is covered by 58 patents.
In the remote sensing technologies taxonomy, it is part of the active time of flight category, along with other technologies such as radar or ultrasound.
LiDAR Sensor Fundamentals
The primary function of LiDAR sensors is to measure the distance between itself and objects in its field of view. It does so by calculating the time taken by a pulse of light to travel to an object and back to the sensor, based on the speed of light constant. As the pulses of light sent by a LiDAR hit objects of irregular shapes with various reflective properties, the incident light signal gets scattered, so that only a small fraction of the light returns back to the LiDAR receiver.
Mechanical Scanning LiDARs Vs.Solid-State LiDARs
Scanning LIDAR’s solution to the reduced signal intensity is to use a powerful collimated laser source and concentrate the return signal on the detector through highly focused optics. By physically rotating the laser/receiver assembly, the mechanical scanning LiDAR is able to collect data over a wide area (up to 360 degrees). A typical mechanical scanning LiDAR is bulky, fragile and costs several thousands of dollars.
New solid-state designs are being developed to solve the cost, size, reliability and complexity issues of mechanical scanning LiDARs. Built with no mechanical components, solid-state LiDARs (SSL) do have some limitations in field-of-view coverage (usually not exceeding 90 to 120 degrees), but their lower cost provides the possibility of combining two or more sensors to increase the area covered and meet the specific requirements of the intended application.
Leddar Technology: Key Differenciators and Benefits
Leddar™ is a solid-state LiDAR technology that uses patented signal acquisition and processing techniques to generate a cleaner return signal. This enables lower detection thresholds, for significantly increased range and sensitivity over other solid-state LiDAR methods.
VIDEO:Representation of Leddar technology’s signal accumulation and digitalization
Leddar generates a significant improvement in sensitivity over other LiDARs, thus working with lower cost components while meeting performance requirements
Sensor Modules: It All Starts from the Core
All Leddar sensors are built around a processing core, which contains LeddarTech’s patented signal processing technology and algorithms.Leddar can be delivered as a System-on-Chip (SoC) or assembled into sensor modules, depending on the application, the required production volume, and the level of integration required by the client.
In addition to the LeddarCore SoC, all Leddar sensor modules need an emitted light source (e.g., LED, VCSEL, Laser), a photodetector to receive the backscattered light, and optical components such as lenses or MEMS micromirrors to customize and optimize the emission and reception signals.
ELECTRONICS AND PACKAGING
Additional elements must be added to build fully functional, complete Leddar-powered sensors: processors, communication interfaces, packaging and power management, provides the required functionality to integrate into the final system.