New optical radar with tenfold increase in accuracy

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New optical radar with tenfold increase in accuracy

SPbPU radar

Russian Federation – Scientists from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) in collaboration with colleagues from National Research University of Electronic Technology, Leibniz University of Hanover and University of Oulu, have established an international consortium to increase the accuracy of optical radar.

At first, the aim was to increase the accuracy of optical radars. The results achieved by the scientists from Institute of Physics, Nanotechnology and Telecommunications of SPbPU and colleagues showed nearly ten-fold increased accuracy of optical radars. It was done by applying shorter optical pulses of about one nanosecond in duration for the scanning procedure. This was a notable achievement: while the typical indicators in similar devices are 30 to 40 W/3–5 ns, the device created in SPbPU demonstrates 40 W/1 ns. It has broad applications including shipbuilding, automobile and aircraft manufacturing, optical detection and electronic equipment.

This device for estimating distance consists of an emitter that transmits an optical signal (for example, a laser beam); a receiver that catches the signal reflected by objects around the radar; and a data processing system that creates the picture of the surrounding landscape based on the specific differences and delay times between the outgoing and incoming signals.

After this achievement there was a seminar in mid-January in St. Petersburg which brought together the representatives of the Leibniz University of Hanover, the University of Oulu and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. The purpose was the joint development of a new approach to the design and implementation of a unique avalanche switch, the heart of the high-speed transmitter.

Despite some technological difficulties the equipment has almost been assembled for the metrological study, which will be held at SPbPU.

“New technological solutions are required to make the pulse shorter with higher power, because now we are faced with some physical limitations. The shorter pulses can’t be obtained with the properties of semiconductors currently used. Therefore, we should not just concentrate on development of purer semiconductors of thinner layers, but a drastically new approach,” says Dr Alexey Filimonov of SPbPU.