Potential use of near, mid and far infrared laser diodes in automotive LIDAR applications

A. Samman, L. Rimai, J. R. McBride, R. O. Carter, W. H. Weber, C. Gmachl, F. Capasso, A. L. Hutchinson, D. L. Sivco, A. Y. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Laser Infrared Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) may be used in on-board automotive applications for monitoring the distance to objects approaching the host vehicle and their relative velocities. The low total cost of equipping cars with LIDAR systems has motivated their development for the automotive market. We conducted an experimental study to assess the ability to detect painted car body panels and various reflectors with 850, 910, 1560, 5600 and 8100 nm LIDAR transceivers. Specular reflection from such targets was high at all wavelengths. However at 5.6 and 8.1 μm, diffuse reflection was not detectable at meaningful distances due to 1) the high absorption of the clear paint coating of body panels and the plastic material used for making reflectors, and 2) the low detectivity achievable at such wavelengths. At 850 to 1560 nm, these targets behaved as in the visible range of the spectrum with high returns from reflectors and much weaker diffuse returns from painted panels. Nonetheless, the weak diffuse reflections were readily detectable at 850 to 1560 nm. As concern with eye safety favors wavelengths above 1.4 μm, a 1.6 μm LIDAR wavelength is suggested as optimum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2084-2089
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Vehicular Technology Conference
Issue number52 ND
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event52nd Vehicular Technology Conference (IEEE VTS Fall VTC2000) - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Sep 24 2000Sep 28 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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