What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and is a family of many variants of methods that use light to determine the distance of an object.  Two main families of LiDAR that are most relevant to automotive LiDAR are:

  1. Time Of Flight (TOF) LiDAR
  2. Coherent LiDAR

Mirada’s products are used to enable breakthrough LiDAR systems based on both types of LiDAR.  TOF LiDAR sends out a pulse of light, and the time it takes for faint reflections off of objects to return to the LiDAR sensor are measured, yielding the distance of the objects.  TOF LiDAR can use a single point measurement from a single channel, and scan this point distant measurement around (using our products) to create a LiDAR point cloud.  TOF LiDAR can also illuminate a larger scene with a single flash, and measure many spatially separate reflections at the same time using a sensor array, in a variant known as flash LiDAR.

Coherent LiDAR operates differently.  A beam of light is split into two beams, a source beam and a reference beam.  The source beam is sent out into the scene in front of the LiDAR, and the reflected beam that returns is captured and mixed with the reference beam. Information in the resulting optical interference patterns can yield distance of objects, as well as their velocity towards or away from the LiDAR system.

Mirada’s scanning technology is compatible with all the aforementioned LiDAR technologies, enabling high performance, automotive grade LiDAR systems to be deployed widely in the industry.

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