Electronics and Semiconductors

Lidar system uses MEMS for wider horizontal scanning

13 March 2020

The lidar includes MEMS for next-generation vehicles. Source: MitsubishiThe lidar includes MEMS for next-generation vehicles. Source: MitsubishiMitsubishi Electric Corp. has developed a compact light-detection and ranging (lidar) system using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for extra-wide horizontal scanning angle for the detection of shapes and objects in the distance.

The autonomous driving solution irradiates objects by laser and uses a dual-axis MEMS mirror to scan for reflected light, generating three-dimensional images of vehicles and pedestrians.

The dual-axis electromagnetic mirror’s wide scanning angle is required for accurate vehicle periphery monitoring. This electromagnetic MEMS mirror reduces the weight of the solution but is still one of the largest in the automotive industry, the company said. The high electromagnetically generated driving force allows the mirror to have a large horizontal movement of ±15° and a vertical movement of ±3.4°, although the company aims to increase this movement to ±6.0° or more by improving the beam structure of the MEMS.

Another feature of the lidar is the arrangement of the optical components — such as multiple laser light sources, photodetectors and lenses — to suppress optical vignetting and avoid laser beam distortion by any of the lidar's internal components. This optical transmission/reception mechanism achieves an extra-wide horizontal scanning angle, enhancing the scanning of vehicles ahead or oncoming vehicles, pedestrians crossing the road, traffic lights, traffic signs and roadside obstacles. Mitsubishi said it aims to achieve a vertical scanning angle exceeding 25°, allowing the detection of vehicles and pedestrians even while close to the vehicle.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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