Single chip lidar with discrete beam steering by digital micromirror device

  • B. Smith (Creator)
  • Brandon Hellman (Creator)
  • Adley Gin (Contributor)
  • Alonzo Espinoza (Creator)
  • Yuzuru Takashima (Creator)
  • Gin Adley (Contributor)



A novel method of beam steering enables a large field of view and reliable single chip light detection and ranging (lidar) by utilizing a mass-produced digital micromirror device (DMD). Using a short pulsed laser, the micromirrors’ rotation is frozen in mid-transition, which forms a programmable blazed grating. The blazed grating efficiently redistributes the light to a single diffraction order, among several. We demonstrated time of flight measurements for five discrete angles using this beam steering method with a nano second 905nm laser and Si avalanche diode. A distance accuracy of < 1 cm over a 1 m distance range, a 48° full field of view, and a measurement rate of 3.34k points/s is demonstrated.
Date made available2017

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