Our Technology

A New Approach to New Markets

Mirada was launched by industry veterans who have created a new approach to precision optics. The need for a new approach is driven by the emerging automotive LiDAR and industrial LiDAR markets.  This approach enables low cost manufacturing of precision optical components, as well as a new method of enabling rotating optical systems survive the shock and vibration on the road.

Low Cost, Precision Optics

High performance polygon optics, and similar complex optical elements are often manufactured by single point diamond turning / diamond machining.  For optics that need a higher level of smoothness, often they are subsequently polished.  This type of processing can produce high quality products, but with incredibly high prices.  The machines that produce this class of optics operate on one face at a time, one part at a time.  There is no way that this technology can scale to the cost and production volume needs of the growing markets such as LiDAR market.

Mirada has created another way.  We invert the manufacturing process, and form optical surfaces with ultra high flatness and low roughness.  Then, these surfaces are assembled and aligned in a novel, patent pending process to create complex, yet low cost polygon optics, in a method that scales to high volume.

Technology FAQ

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.

LiDAR is a technology that has impacted many industries and markets, from space travel, mapping, archaeology, construction, mining, and transportation.   The automotive industry is rapidly adopting LiDAR technology to enable future safer vehicles in features known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).  Also, there is much work on more advanced automotive features that can be termed as Autonomous Driving, where LiDAR plays a critical role.  LiDAR, radar, camera systems, ultrasonic sensors, and other technologies work together to make drivers and passengers safer.

Polygon scanners can be single line (regular polygons) or multi-line (multiple lines).  As a single line polygon scanner rotates it will reflect light repeatedly in a single horizontal line.  By directing a LiDAR channel on that rotating polygon, one can create a single line of LiDAR data (A 2-D point cloud including azimuthal angle and distance).  Similarly, by illuminating a multi-line polygon with a LiDAR channel one can create multiple horizontal lines of LiDAR data (a 3-D point cloud, azimuthal angle, elevation angle, and distance).  For example, an eighth sided, multi-line scanner with one LiDAR channel can create a 3D point cloud with eight distinct horizontal lines of data.  Couple that same scanner to eight LiDAR channels, and you have a point cloud with 64 horizontal lines of data.

There many alternative configurations, some of which include a second scanner.  Contact us to see what product and configuration is right for you.