Shedding light on LiDAR
Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is used in a wide range of applications, including mapping and surveying, robotics and environmental monitoring. While there are still some challenges that have to be considered, waveguide-integrated SNSPDs excel at all the requirements and provide a high detection efficiency, low noise, small size as well as a high timing resolution.
Light detection: choosing between laser power and detection sensitivity
In general, light detection and ranging faces at least one challenge: Either the emitted laser lacks power or the photon detector needs to be more sensitive. However, eye safe operations require either a small power or wavelengths in the infrared, which leads to lower sensitivity for conventional photon detectors – both limiting the distances, that can be measured.
Waveguide-integrated SNSPDs offer it all at once
Superconducting nanowire single photon detectors can provide almost perfect sensitivity and a huge signal-to-noise ratio for infrared wavelengths. This greatly enhances the distance of LIDAR measurements to well above 100 km.
Thanks to the exceptional timing accuracy of waveguide-integrated SNSPDs, measurements get more precise enabling resolutions of 3D maps in the range of mm over a distance of hundreds of meters.
The whole package: easy integration
In addition, our systems offer an easy integration with other components such as lasers and optical fibers. This helps reduce the size and complexity of the overall LiDAR system, making it easier and less expensive to manufacture.