Luminar Technologies has filed a patent for a lidar system that includes a light source, a scanner with a rotating polygon mirror, a receiver, and a controller. The system emits optical signals, detects scattered signals from a target, and adjusts the rotation rate of the mirror for subsequent signals. GlobalData’s report on Luminar Technologies gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Luminar Technologies, lidar-based object detection was a key innovation area identified from patents. Luminar Technologies's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Lidar system with adjustable rotation rate for polygon mirror

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO). Credit: Luminar Technologies Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230176198A1) describes a lidar system that utilizes a polygon mirror to improve its performance. The lidar system includes a light source that emits a first set of optical signals, and a scanner with a polygon mirror that rotates around an axis of rotation at a certain rotation rate. The polygon mirror directs the emitted optical signals into the field of regard of the lidar system. A receiver detects a portion of the optical signal that is scattered by a target located at a distance from the lidar system.

The patent claims that the lidar system includes a controller that adjusts the rotation rate of the polygon mirror for a second set of optical signals emitted by the light source after the first set of optical signals. This adjustment of the rotation rate can be used to calibrate the receiver and improve its performance. The polygon mirror has multiple reflective surfaces angularly offset from each other along its periphery, allowing for efficient scanning of the emitted optical signals.

The lidar system also includes a detector that produces an electrical signal corresponding to the received optical signal. The patent claims that the controller can determine the expected amplitude of the received optical signal based on the power of the emitted optical signals, the known reflectivity value of the target, and the distance to the target. The controller can then determine a correction factor for the detector based on the disparity between the expected and actual amplitudes of the received optical signal.

Furthermore, the patent claims that the controller can adjust the rotation rate of the polygon mirror to alter the operating range of the lidar system. Increasing the rotation rate decreases the operating range, while decreasing the rotation rate increases the operating range. The controller can also adjust the pulse repetition frequency of the optical signals emitted by the light source based on the rotation rate of the polygon mirror.

Overall, this patent describes a lidar system that utilizes a polygon mirror and a controller to improve its performance and calibration. The system has potential applications in various fields, including autonomous vehicles, robotics, and remote sensing.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.