LiDAR 3D modeling, image processing

Suite of patented technologies provides a comprehensive solution for LiDAR data synthesis, analysis, and visualization

Software & Information Technology Sensors

Navy scientist develops a comprehensive LiDAR system for real-time, accurate sensor range images and video. The suite of patented technologies is available together or individually via license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technologies have become universal as a surveying tool that measures distances between targets and a LiDAR sensor by transmitting light pulses that illuminate a target and are reflected back to the sensor to be measured. The data is then used to model 3D representations of the target.

The Navy’s LiDAR technologies apply to a wide range of artificial, machine, and robotic intelligence systems. (Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

A Navy scientist has invented a new way of simulating LADAR sensor range data. The suite provides a unique solution for LiDAR Data Synthesis, a method of generating LiDAR range data using computer hardware and software. This technology package includes a wire-frame scene model, a laser pulse model, the novel use of the hidden surface removal z-buffer, and an algorithm, that produces LiDAR range data. Entire time sequences of LiDAR data can be synthesized by applying this algorithm for each laser pulse.

This provides an advantage in the visualization of LiDAR sensor data for purposes of construction prototyping, testing, and demonstration before the sensor is built. It’s also helpful for sensor validation, analysis, and sensor function prediction after the sensor has been manufactured. The technology can also be advantageous in an artificial, machine, or robotic intelligence systems where the use of LiDAR sensors are employed. In robotic intelligence systems where there is a requirement to hypothesize a scene and synthesize sensor output for comparison with the LiDAR sensor actual output, this visualization technique is highly beneficial.

The hidden surface removal z-buffer produces a two-dimensional projection of a 3D textured wire-frame using hundreds of core processing units on a single graphics processing card. This technology employs the computing power of the hidden surface removal z-buffer in a new way, resulting in real-time, accurate LiDAR sensor range data video.

The suite also includes a two-source active sensor system for 3D vision based on electromagnetic energy. The range image data, including potential targets, is simulated, and synthetic range images are created. The range image and synthetic range image are then electronically processed to determine whether the hypothesized model, position, and orientation are correct. One potential set up includes a navigation unit that is co-located with the LiDAR sensor and provides the location and orientation of the LiDAR sensor at the time the target was imaged. The information is used to convert the range image data from the LiDAR sensor into a coordinate system, thereby associating range data from the LiDAR sensor with world coordinates.

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