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Novel method for testing Lidar sensor

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Asish Jain
Solution Planner,

Keysight Technologies

Released on October 05, 2023

Lidar is quoted to be an imperative to achieve the dream of autonomous driving. Lidar provides unique advantages like high resolution point cloud, 3D mapping and low light effectiveness. To test lidar in design verification and manufacturing stages, physical target boards of various sizes and surface reflectivity are placed at different distances starting from few meters to a few hundred meters. Evidently, this type of test setup requires significant floor space and is cost intensive to scale for high volume manufacturing tests.
In this paper, a novel test methodology based on electronic target simulation for testing lidar’s range, reflectivity and probability of target detection will be introduced. The paper aims to provide a deeper technical understanding of principle of operation of this new lidar target simulation based test method and elaborate the key benefits for lidar makers. This test method can be used to test both mechanical rotating and solid state types of time of flight lidars. Since the target is generated electronically, the target distance and reflectivity can be swept within the defined range. This capability coupled with innovative point cloud analysis, provides additional insight into lidar performance, and can be used by researchers to further improve lidar’s design. Another important condition which lidars are subjected to is interference. This novel method enables users to add an external light source or even another lidar sensor to the wanted reflected signal into lidar under test. The test setup is automated with the help of cobot on which lidar under test is mounted. Cobot also ensures precise opto-mechanical alignment and movement of lidar. Through this paper, it will be explained how lidar target simulation based test method can enable lidar makers to mitigate a part of their challenge related to cost and volume production.

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