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This paper reports on a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system that incorporates a microelectromechanical-system (MEMS) mirror scanner and a single-photon imager. The proposed architecture enables a high signal-to-background ratio due to pixel-level synchronization of the single-photon imager and the MEMS mirror. It also allows the receiving optics to feature a large aperture, yet utilizing a small MEMS device. The MEMS actuator achieves a mechanical scanning amplitude of ±4° horizontally and ±3° vertically, while the field of view of the overall sensor is 45 by 110. Distance images were acquired outdoors in order to qualitatively evaluate our sensor imaging capabilities. Quantitative ranging performance characterization carried out under 10 klx of ambient light revealed a precision of 14.5 cm throughout the distance range to 25 m, thus leading to a relative precision of 0.58%.
Date of Publication: April 2013