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AOI narrow linewidth laser boosts LiDAR range
- April 2, 2020
Applied Optoelectronics Inc (AOI), a specialist in fibre-optic network products, has launched a new high power and narrow linewidth laser specifically designed for Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) applications, particularly for automotive use.
Texas based AOI is aiming to address issues with near infrared lasers which are used in current automotive LiDAR systems. As near infrared lasers are not eye safe, they are limited in terms of emitted power. This power limitation, in turn, restricts the effective sensing range of the LIDAR system.
AOI’s laser operates at longer wavelengths near 1550-nm where eye-safe emission limits are much higher and therefore detection distances are longer, making them better suited for real-world automotive sensors.
According to AOI, combining high optical output power with narrow linewidth further increases the detection range of a LIDAR system by increasing the coherence length of the laser output compared to similar lasers with wider linewidth. The lasers are intended to be used in Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LIDAR systems, which have better noise rejection compared to the more common amplitude modulated LIDAR systems available today.
“AOI’s expertise in semiconductor laser design and production has enabled us to offer this innovative narrow-linewidth laser,” said Dr. Fred Chang, AOI’s Senior VP and GM. “The current automotive LIDAR systems have limitations imposed by the available lasers, and AOI’s new 1550-nm eye-safe laser will enable advanced FMCW LIDAR systems with improved detection range and accuracy, which are critical to advanced autonomous vehicle technology.”