Our Technology

What is 3D Global Shutter Flash LIDAR?

Time of flight (ToF) LIDAR is a highly accurate distance mapping and 3D imaging technology. Time of Flight sensors emit a very short pulse of infrared light. The light pulse is reflected from objects in the scene. The ToF sensor precisely and accurately measures the pulse transit time. Since the speed of light is a constant, the measured transit time easily converted to a depth value.

The two most popular ToF sensor LIDAR architectures are global shutter flash and rolling shutter scanning. Global shutter flash LIDAR illuminates the entire field of regard with a single pulse of infrared illumination. The flash LIDAR detector consists of a proprietary focal plane array (FPA) in which each pixel independently measures the time of flight. The scanning LIDAR illuminates a narrow field of view with a narrow pulse of illumination and measures the time of flight. Subsequently, the laser and sensor must be physically scanned through the entire field of regard to capture the scene depth values. Global shutter flash LIDAR is preferred for real-time 3D mapping / imaging applications due to the simplicity, efficiency, and speed advantages.

Technology Features
Global Shutter Capture
Global shutter camera system with no motion distortion
Co-Registered Range & Intensity
Real-time, co-registered range and intensity maps
Contiguous Pixels
No spatial data gaps with contiguous pixels
Solid State
Solid state system with no moving parts
Precise Measurements
Embedded high speed time-of-flight digital signal processing provides precise and accurate distance measurements
Degraded Visual Environment
Imaging through degraded visual environments – smoke, dust, fog, rain and snow

Global Shutter Flash LIDAR Advantages

  • No Motion Distortion: Global shutter sampling
  • No Spatial Data Gaps: Contiguous two dimensional pixel coverage
  • Excellent Range Accuracy: ~5cm
  • Real Time Organized Point Clouds: All points are correlated in space and time
  • Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) Capable: Image / range through obscurants such as smoke, dust, fog, rain and snow
  • High Reliability: Solid state, no moving parts</li>
Emerging Technologies

ASC is continuously pursuing new technologies to enhance the performance, capabilities, and reliability of our gsf-LIDAR systems.  Our current focus areas are:

Improved range performance

  • High FPA signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): High gain linear mode APDs, Low ROIC electronics
  • Increased laser energy: 100mJ MOPA 1064nm laser

Improved field of view (FOV)  performance

  • Large Format FPAs : 256 x 256 , 640×480

Improved  instantaneous field-of-view (iFOV) performance

  • Small FPA Pixel Pitch: <60mm
  • Image fusion: Fuse high resolution imaging pixel with gsf-LIDAR pixels (Merlin)

Technology Spotlight:
Merlin GSFL Camera System

One gsf-LIDAR performance challenge is to maintain high spatial resolution and long range performance. Large gsf-LIDAR pixels are need to provide long range performance at the expense of spatial resolution. However high resolution point clouds can be created by fusing the larger long range LIDAR pixels with smaller, high resolution visible imager pixels.  Merlin is a high resolution, moderate range, compact, lightweight 3D visualization system for advanced drone mapping and situational awareness applications. The system produces real time high resolution point clouds at video frame rates. The images are produced by fusing gsf-LIDAR imagery with high resolution visible imaging sensor imagery. Built-in IMU and GPS sensors enable the system to rectify and geo-locate each data point within the point cloud.

Advanced Scientific Concepts LLC (ASC) is a leading provider of real time, global shutter, solid-state, 3D flash LIDAR (3DFL) ranging/imaging systems. Our 3DFL technology offers superior distortion free scene range/intensity mapping capabilities required for real time mapping, guidance navigation & control, situational awareness, tracking, and augmented reality applications.