Project Acronym: LIANDRI

Full title: Advancing time-of-flight  technology  for high  performance  light  detection  and  ranging

Project duration: 04/2018 – 03/2021
Coordinator: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Contact: Bernhard Schrenk (bernhard.schrenk@ait.ac.at)

Project website address: www.liandri-project.eu

Executive summary

Sensor technology plays a vital role in a wide range of applications, spanning from daily live appliances and sophisticated industrial environments to mission critical infrastructures. Photonics is known for enabling leaps in performance past that found in the state-of-the-art. A prominent example is time-of-flight imaging: By illuminating targets with light and acquiring the reflection thereof, a highly detailed 2D representation of the scene as well as depth information can be obtained. This is highly attractive for 3D sensor applications concerning object localisation, tracking and identification such as required for automated manufacturing or self-driving automobiles. Purely electronics-aided solutions such as ultra-sonic detection or RADAR technology experience flaws since either range or resolution cannot be achieved. Besides, state-of-play cameras lack reliability under certain conditions such as frontlighting. All these flaws of conventional sensors leave room for misinterpretation in an environment where ultra-high reliability is paramount.

LIANDRI aims at novel component technology for photonic sensing relying on light-based detection and ranging (LIDAR) with high precision and sensitivity. Time-of-flight photodetection enabled by CMOS-integrated 2D single-photon avalanche photodiodes in combination with GaN high-power optoelectronics for short-pulsed light generation in the GHz range will comprise the key elements for cost-effective direct image acquisition for long ranges of up to 250m at high precision and reliability. Developed sensor test-chips will be evaluated under realistic environments for the representative applications of automotive LIDAR and object tracking in confined manufacturing environments.