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New high-performance detection and ranging module offers easy integration

New high-performance detection and ranging module offers easy integration LED-based Leddar Technology detects, locates and measures all types of objects in various environments. Highly adaptable, it serves multiple industries and comes in different forms, providing brand owners and OEMs with an effective and affordable solution that's quickly and easily integrated.

A growing number of solution providers are integrating sensors into their applications. Designing an effective solution that meets all market requirements is very challenging, and off-the-shelf sensors often come with hardware and interface constraints that lead to difficult tradeoffs between features and cost. Moreover, developers usually have to develop their own tools and build interface software from scratch. What if a new detection and ranging technology-through its unique form factor, interfaces and tools - could enable developers to use its built-in expertise while facilitating hardware integration and application development? With several interfaces and beam options, as well as an extensive software package, Leddar modules constitute a smart solution, not only in terms of integration, but also in terms of versatility, cost/performance ratio, precision and robustness.

In fact, Leddar is a patented* technology that combines LED lighting and innovative signal processing into an accurate and robust detection and ranging solution based on the time-of-flight of light principle. Optimized for 0 to 50 m (165 ft.) detection, the technology outperforms traditional approaches, even in harsh weather conditions. Contrary to collimated types of emitters (laser), the LED emitters in the Leddar sensor actively illuminate the area of interest. The multi-element receiver collects the backscatter of the reflected light and measures the time taken for the emitted light to return back to the sensor.

This advanced approach has brought numerous valuable features to detection and ranging:
  • No moving parts for a rugged and reliable solution
  • Configuration software and development kit offering unmatched ease of integration
  • Large illumination area enabling optimized  detection robustness in all weather conditions
  • Full waveform analysis allowing multiple object detection per channel
  • Signal accumulation for long detection range with low-power LEDs
  • Multiple fields of view permitting lateral discrimination
  • Rapid acquisition rate enabling real-time object tracking
  • hort, diffused LED pulses for an inherently eye-safe solution

Quick and Easy Integration
Brand owners and OEMs can easily integrate Leddar(tm) technology in a wide variety of finished products, whether simple or complex, as the sensor module itself is highly configurable and its operation can be tailored to specific application requirements. For example, a number of parameters can be used to optimize the measurement rate and range of detection. The module contains a receiver assembly, as well as a source and control assembly, and features 16 detection segments, various beam width options (9° to 95°), and real-time data acquisition.

To facilitate custom application development, different interfaces and communication links are also provided, namely, RS-485 (Modbus), CAN bus (proprietary protocol), UART (Modbus), and USB (proprietary protocol).

Dedicated configuration software speeds up both interfacing and setup according to the application and preferences. Some of the functions most appreciated by integrators include:
  • Data Viewing and Raw Detections: The detected objects are plotted on a graph of the beam, indicating lateral position and distance, and measurement details are provided in a separate window. Filters can be applied to isolate and display specific measurements, so as to avoid having to go through superfluous data.
  • ecording and Playback: Sensor data may be recorded and played back offline for analysis, verification, troubleshooting, or training purposes. Playback can be either continuous or it can be paused to step through the data one frame at a time.
  • Data Logging: This function outputs the data to a text file, which can be imported into applications such as Microsoft Excel, for offline analysis, and each line of the generated text file corresponds to the data of a single detection.  

In addition, a software development kit containing an easy-to-use API with .Net and C libraries and example code, allow Windows and Linux developers to create applications that control the sensor settings and acquire the measurements at the sensor's full rate of operation (USB link). Sample code for RS-485/Modbus (Windows and Linux), as well as LabVIEW and MATLAB integration examples are also provided.

These key integration tools allow developers to start experimenting immediately, exploring and developing with the technology, accelerating the process from idea to application. To speed up the process even further, a low-cost evaluation kit is readily available for trial purposes.

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