Orders of Magnitude Increases in 3D Data Collection Enabled by Geiger Mode LiDAR
Geiger mode LIDAR has been used for fifteen years by the US military for 3D mapping requirements. The technology is now moving into commercial applications. The enabling technology is the near infrared single-photon avalanche photodiodes of Princeton Lightwave. This photon detection technology provides overall orders of magnitude improvement in imaging range, point cloud density, and time-of-flight resolution relative to other imaging technologies. Compared to 2D near infrared cameras, Geiger mode cameras enable superior object recognition and identification; they acquire much greater density of information, at much higher rates than conventional linear scanning LIDARs. The single-photon detection functionality also provides more than a tenfold increase in range-finding capability as well as an ability to detect multiple returns when employed with conventional oversampling techniques. In addition, these cameras satisfy requirements for high-density, high-speed 3D mapping where foliage penetration is required. The presentation will detail the technology and application results.