Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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45 unmanned systems inside October/November 2016 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. is. When combined with position and orienta- tion data, the result is a point cloud that can be used to produce 3D digital elevation models. LiDAR is an active technology, Riegl USA CEO James Van Rens said, and distinct from the passive camera systems that are also used to help UAS and driverless cars navigate. With LiDAR, light is sent from the sensor and the return signal is registered when it comes back. LiDAR also can deploy signal processing methods and techniques to identify false posi- tives, making it possible to find a target even during bad weather, which can be a challenge for RGB camera systems. "LiDAR systems are critical to the success of driverless vehicles, UAS and robotics in general," Van Rens said. "Because of its per- formance as an active sensor, it has the abil- ity to penetrate through environmental issues such as rain, snow, dust and dirt. As a sensor and technology, LiDAR will operate in concert with a number of other sensors and other ele- ments of information." Why LiDAR Cameras, radar and ultrasonics all gather critical information, but LiDAR can provide the missing pieces. For example, radar can see objects at a far distance, but can't tell the car what that object is—which is important when determining how to react to a situation. Bright sunlight could blind a camera and keep it from seeing what's around it. LiDAR fills in those gaps, and when all these technologies work to- gether, it creates a more reliable vehicle. Civil Maps is working to create accurate maps for driverless cars with a solution that fuses information collected from GPS, IMUs, LiDAR and cameras into a point cloud. " SENSORS WORKING IN TANDEM WILL GET YOU AN OVERALL BETTER PERFORMANCE." Sravan Puttagunta, CEO Civil Maps

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