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121 US10697758B2
Laser remote length measurement instrument
Publication/Patent Number: US10697758B2 Publication Date: 2020-06-30 Application Number: 15/636,767 Filing Date: 2017-06-29 Inventor: Ohtomo, Fumio   Kumagai, Kaoru   Assignee: TOPCON CORPORATION   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A laser remote length measurement instrument capable of remotely measuring a length between two required points in a non-contact manner is provided. The laser remote length measurement instrument includes a rangefinding unit, an optical axis deflection section, a rotation angle detector, and a computation controller. The rangefinding unit is configured to cause a light emitting element to emit visible rangefinding light and obtain a light reception signal. The optical axis deflection section is configured to scan to-and-fro between two directions with the rangefinding light. The rotation angle detector is configured to detect a divergence angle between the two directions. The computation controller is configured to compute a distance between illuminated points in the two directions illuminated with the rangefinding light on the basis of rangefinding results for the illuminated points and the divergence angle between the two directions.
122 US2020124417A1
Publication/Patent Number: US2020124417A1 Publication Date: 2020-04-23 Application Number: 16/568,060 Filing Date: 2019-09-11 Inventor: Vogel, Michael   Richter, Rolf   Metz, Thomas   Glimm, Andreas   Kludas, Torsten   Natura, Ute   Assignee: Trimble Jena GmbH   IPC: G01C15/00 Abstract: The present invention relates to a surveying apparatus for surveying an object as well as a surveying system comprising the surveying apparatus having a simple and compact optical setup. The surveying apparatus comprises a lens arrangement including at least one movably arranged focus lens element for focusing to sight an object; an imaging unit configured to obtain an image of at least a part of the object; a distance measuring unit configured to measure a distance to the object along the optical axis of the distance measuring unit; and a beam splitter/combiner configured to combine a part of the optical imaging path of the imaging unit and a part of the optical distance measuring path of the distance measuring unit so that the optical axis of the imaging unit and the optical axis of the distance measuring unit are at least coaxially arranged with the optical axis of the lens arrangement between the lens arrangement and the beam splitter/combiner.
123 US10698088B2
LIDAR receiver using a waveguide and an aperture
Publication/Patent Number: US10698088B2 Publication Date: 2020-06-30 Application Number: 15/665,796 Filing Date: 2017-08-01 Inventor: Droz, Pierre-yves   Hutchison, David Neil   Shepard, Ralph Hamilton   Assignee: Waymo LLC   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: The present disclosure relates to limitation of noise on light detectors using an aperture. One example implementation includes a system. The system includes a lens disposed relative to a scene. The lens focuses light from the scene. The system also includes an opaque material that defines an aperture. The system also includes a waveguide having a first side that receives light focused by the lens and transmitted through the aperture. The waveguide guides the received light toward a second side of the waveguide opposite to the first side. The waveguide has a third side extending between the first side and the second side. The system also includes a mirror that reflects the guided light toward the third side of the waveguide. The system also includes an array of light detectors that detects the reflected light propagating out of the third side.
124 US10739445B2
Parallel photon counting
Publication/Patent Number: US10739445B2 Publication Date: 2020-08-11 Application Number: 16/415,748 Filing Date: 2019-05-17 Inventor: Hollmann, Joseph   Hoffman, Zachary R.   Assignee: The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A method of lidar processing pulses a scene with laser pulse sequences from a laser light source. Reflected light from the target scene passes through receiver optics and is defocused to cover a light sensing surface of a photo detector array. The photo detector array contains multiple photon detector elements connected in parallel where each photon detector element is configured to generate corresponding photon pulse output signals based on sensing photons in the received reflected light, and each photon detector element is characterized by a non-responsive dead time period immediately after sensing a photon. The photon pulse output signals are combined to form a common real time output signal, which is converted to a digital time resolved histogram. Multiple digital time resolved histograms produced in response to multiple light pulses directed at a scanning location are combined to form a composite time resolved histogram for the scanning location.
125 EP2972081B1
Publication/Patent Number: EP2972081B1 Publication Date: 2020-04-22 Application Number: 14765420.6 Filing Date: 2014-03-13 Inventor: Shpunt, Alexander   Einat, Ronen   Mor, Zafrir   Assignee: Apple Inc.   IPC: G01C3/08
126 US10803609B2
Image distance calculator and computer-readable, non-transitory storage medium storing image distance calculation program
Publication/Patent Number: US10803609B2 Publication Date: 2020-10-13 Application Number: 15/752,892 Filing Date: 2017-08-28 Inventor: Oka, Ryuichi   Assignee: THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY CORPORATION, THE UNIVERSITY AIZU   IPC: G06K9/00 Abstract: In an image distance calculator (100), a CPU (104) extracts a frame image from moving images of an object captured by a camera, generates a slice image on the basis of a temporal change in a pixel line on a y-axis at a point x0 in the frame image, calculates a spotting point on the basis of correspondences between pixels in the slice image and pixels in the frame image, obtains pixels in the frame image corresponding to pixels in the slice image by a back-trace process, segments the frame image and slice image into regions, determines a corresponding region corresponding to a segmented region of the slice image, calculates a ratio value from an average q of the numbers of pixels in the corresponding region in the frame image and an average p of the numbers of pixels in the segmented region of the slice image, and calculates the distance z from the camera to the object for each corresponding region using a predetermined distance function.
127 US10775242B2
Tracking and ranging system and method thereof
Publication/Patent Number: US10775242B2 Publication Date: 2020-09-15 Application Number: 16/255,977 Filing Date: 2019-01-24 Inventor: Ni, Ming-hong   Liu, Chien-hung   Assignee: QUANTA COMPUTER INC.   IPC: G01J5/02 Abstract: A tracking and ranging system includes a thermal sensor device, a controller, a ranging device and a transmission device. The thermal sensor device is configured to capture a thermal image. The controller analyzes the thermal image to identify the main heat source from among the heat sources displayed in the thermal image, and obtain an offset distance between the center points of the main heat source and the thermal image. The ranging device is coupled to the controller. The transmission device loads the ranging device and is coupled to the controller. The controller controls the motion of the transmission device in accordance with the offset distance to correct the offset angle between the ranging device and the object corresponding to the main heat source. After correcting the offset angle, the ranging device detects a first distance to the object by transmitting energy and receiving reflected energy.
128 US10768282B2
Method and system for laser phase tracking for internal reflection subtraction in phase-encoded LIDAR
Publication/Patent Number: US10768282B2 Publication Date: 2020-09-08 Application Number: 16/681,663 Filing Date: 2019-11-12 Inventor: Crouch, Stephen C.   Kadlec, Emil   Rupavatharam, Krishna   Assignee: BLACKMORE SENSORS & ANALYTICS, LLC   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A system and method for optical detection in autonomous vehicles includes modulating an optical signal from a laser to generate a modulated optical signal and transmitting the modulated optical signal toward an object. The system and method include receiving, responsive to transmitting the modulated optical signal, a returned optical signal and mixing the returned optical signal with a reference optical signal associated with the optical signal from the laser to generate a mixed optical signal and detecting the mixed optical signal to generate an electrical signal. Based on the electrical signal and the modulated optical signal, a parameter of an internal reflection of the returned optical signal from one or more optical components is determined, which may be used to operate a vehicle.
129 US10578738B2
Chirped coherent laser radar system and method
Publication/Patent Number: US10578738B2 Publication Date: 2020-03-03 Application Number: 15/862,132 Filing Date: 2018-01-04 Inventor: Sebastian, Richard Lee   Belsley, Kendall L.   Assignee: StereoVision Imaging, Inc.   IPC: G01S17/06 Abstract: A laser radar system using collocated laser beams to unambiguously detects a range of a target and a range rate at which the target is moving relative to the laser radar system. Another aspect of various embodiments of the invention may relate to a laser radar system that uses multiple laser radar sections to obtain multiple simultaneous measurements (or substantially so), whereby both range and range rate can be determined without various temporal effects introduced by systems employing single laser sections taking sequential measurements. In addition, other aspects of various embodiments of the invention may enable faster determination of the range and rate of the target, a more accurate determination of the range and rate of the target, and/or may provide other advantages.
130 US10557924B1
Lidar device
Publication/Patent Number: US10557924B1 Publication Date: 2020-02-11 Application Number: 16/362,298 Filing Date: 2019-03-22 Inventor: Jang, Jun Hwan   Yoon, Hee Sun   Assignee: SOS LAB CO., LTD   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A lidar device comprises: a laser emitting unit for including a plurality of VCSEL elements emitting a laser beam; a metasurface for including a plurality of beam steering cells arranged in a form of two-dimensional array by a row direction and a column direction, wherein the plurality of beam steering cells guide the laser beam by using nanopillars; wherein the nanopillars included in the plurality of beam steering cells form a subwavelength pattern, wherein the increase of an attribute related to at least one of the width, height, and number per unit length of the nanopillars is repetitive along the direction from the center of the metasurface to the position of the row corresponding to the plurality of beam steering cells.
131 US10545240B2
LIDAR transmitter and detector system using pulse encoding to reduce range ambiguity
Publication/Patent Number: US10545240B2 Publication Date: 2020-01-28 Application Number: 15/917,628 Filing Date: 2018-03-10 Inventor: Campbell, Scott R.   Lachapelle, Joseph G.   Eichenholz, Jason M.   Russell, Austin K.   Assignee: Luminar Technologies, Inc.   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A lidar system includes a transmitter that encodes successive transmit pulses with different pulse characteristics and a receiver that detects the pulse characteristics of each received (scattered or reflected) pulse and that distinguishes between the received pulses based on the detected pulse characteristics. The lidar system thus resolves range ambiguities by encoding pulses of scan positions in the same or different scan periods to have different pulse characteristics, such as different pulse widths or different pulse envelope shapes. The receiver includes a pulse decoder configured to detect the relevant pulse characteristics of the received pulse and a resolver that determines if the pulse characteristics of the received pulse matches the pulse characteristics of the current scan position or that of a previous scan position.
132 US10538729B2
Cell imaging control device, method, and program
Publication/Patent Number: US10538729B2 Publication Date: 2020-01-21 Application Number: 15/251,193 Filing Date: 2016-08-30 Inventor: Matsumoto, Tsuyoshi   Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: There is provided a cell imaging control device, method, and a non-transitory computer readable recording medium recorded with a program capable of performing focus control more efficiently when imaging cells being cultured and improving the focus accuracy. There are included: an information acquisition unit 22 that acquires at least one of information regarding the maturity of cells being cultured or observation position information of the cells in a colony; a focus parameter determination unit 23 that determines a focus parameter based on at least one of the information regarding the maturity of the cells or the observation position information; and a focus control section 25 that performs focus control in an imaging device, which captures an image of the cells, based on the focus parameter.
133 US10712431B1
Systems and methods for refractive beam-steering
Publication/Patent Number: US10712431B1 Publication Date: 2020-07-14 Application Number: 16/725,419 Filing Date: 2019-12-23 Inventor: Angus, Edward Joseph   Galloway, Ryan Moore   Assignee: BLACKMORE SENSORS & ANALYTICS, LLC   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A LIDAR apparatus can include a polygon deflector that includes a plurality of facets. The LIDAR apparatus can include a motor rotatably coupled to the polygon deflector. The motor is configured to rotate the polygon deflector about a first axis orthogonal to a first plane. The LIDAR apparatus can include an optic positioned within an interior of the polygon deflector. The optic collimates a first beam to be incident on a particular facet of the plurality of facet. The particular facet of the plurality of facets refracts the first beam in the first plane between a first angle and a second angle as the polygon deflector rotates about the first axis to output a second beam.
134 US10634771B2
Laser scanner
Publication/Patent Number: US10634771B2 Publication Date: 2020-04-28 Application Number: 15/473,497 Filing Date: 2017-03-29 Inventor: Singer, Julien   Heinzle, Lukas   Scheja, Jochen   Mark, Simon   Hinderling, Jürg   Böckem, Burkhard   Assignee: LEICA GEOSYSTEMS AG   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A laser scanner device adapted to be mounted to a vehicle, the device comprising a LIDAR module, the LIDAR module comprising at least one laser source, characterized by a horizontal field of view of at least 60°, an instantaneous vertical field of view of at least ±2°, a scan resolution of at least one point per 0.8° in horizontal and vertical direction, and a frame rate of at least 10 Hz for scanning at least the entire horizontal and instantaneous vertical field of view with said scan resolution.
135 US10731977B1
Automated zone accuracy for lever-arm and euler-angle alignment
Publication/Patent Number: US10731977B1 Publication Date: 2020-08-04 Application Number: 16/054,279 Filing Date: 2018-08-03 Inventor: Howard, Sean D.   Richard, Michael S.   Lohff, Geoffrey A.   Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.   IPC: G01B11/26 Abstract: A laser angle measuring device has a concave detection surface with a plurality of light sensors and an opaque light shield. One or more multi-axis gravity sense potentiometers determine the orientation of the laser angle measuring device, and a GPS receiver determines the location of the laser angle measuring device. The laser angle measuring device is part of a system including one or more laser emitters, each with one or more selectable laser sources. Each laser emitter may also include location and orientation measuring mechanisms.
136 US2020182612A1
Range Finder
Publication/Patent Number: US2020182612A1 Publication Date: 2020-06-11 Application Number: 16/684,628 Filing Date: 2019-11-15 Inventor: Lu, Xin-xin   Liu, Hua-tang   Luo, Sheng   Lu, Han   Song, Peng-fei   Assignee: Sintai Optical (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.   Asia Optical Co., Inc.   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A range finder includes an image capturing module, a transceiver module, a switching module, an output device and a processing unit. The image capturing module is configured to receive a first light beam emitted by an object. The transceiver module is configured to emit a second light beam to the object and receive the second light beam reflected by the object for obtaining a distance between the range finder and the object. The switching module is configured to output an electrical signal corresponding to a selected operating mode selected from a plurality of operating modes. The output device is configured to show the selected operating mode corresponding to the electrical signal. The processing unit is connected to the image capturing module, the transceiver module and the output device for receiving the electrical signal and controlling the image capturing module, the transceiver module and the output device.
137 US2020114607A1
Publication/Patent Number: US2020114607A1 Publication Date: 2020-04-16 Application Number: 16/156,257 Filing Date: 2018-10-10 Inventor: Pillarisetty, Vivek   Tate, Mark   Culvey, Zach   Assignee: Industrial Pharmaceutical Resources, Inc.   IPC: B30B11/02 Abstract: A tooling inspection and analysis system measures tooling quality of a multi-tip tablet punch having a barrel with a plurality of tips each having a tip cup for forming a tablet. The system comprises a base. A carriage assembly has a cavity for supporting a multi-tip tablet punch, which when in use is aligned with an X-axis. A Y-axis linear slide mounts the carriage assembly to the base for movement relative to the base along a Y-axis. A sensor is adapted to measure distance. A Z-axis linear slide mounts the sensor to the base for movement relative to the base along a Z-axis. A programmable controller is operatively connected to the Y-axis linear slide, the Z-axis linear slide and the sensor. The controller is programmed to move the carriage assembly and the sensor to automatically align the sensor to measure working length of each tip of a multi-tip tablet punch mounted in the cavity.
138 EP3649428A1
Publication/Patent Number: EP3649428A1 Publication Date: 2020-05-13 Application Number: 18827390.8 Filing Date: 2018-07-06 Inventor: Desai, Shahyaan   Lardin, Clifford A.   Adams, Scott G.   Assignee: Mezmeriz, Inc.   IPC: G01B9/02
139 US10641874B2
Sizing the field of view of a detector to improve operation of a lidar system
Publication/Patent Number: US10641874B2 Publication Date: 2020-05-05 Application Number: 15/710,744 Filing Date: 2017-09-20 Inventor: Campbell, Scott R.   Martin, Lane A.   Weed, Matthew D.   Eichenholz, Jason M.   Assignee: Luminar Technologies, Inc.   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: A lidar system includes a light source, a scanner, and a receiver and is configured to detect remote targets located up to RMAX meters away. The receiver includes a detector with a field of view larger than the light-source field of view. The scanner causes the detector field of view to move relative to the instantaneous light-source field of view along the scan direction, so that (i) when a pulse of light is emitted, the instantaneous light-source field of view is approximately centered within the detector field of view, and (ii) when a scattered pulse of light returns from a target located RMAX meters away, the instantaneous light-source field of view is located near an edge of the field of view of the detector and is contained within the field of view of the detector.
140 US10627517B2
Optical phased arrays
Publication/Patent Number: US10627517B2 Publication Date: 2020-04-21 Application Number: 15/279,295 Filing Date: 2016-09-28 Inventor: Yaacobi, Ami   Watts, Michael R.   Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology   IPC: G01C3/08 Abstract: An optical phased array formed of a large number of nanophotonic antenna elements can be used to project complex images into the far field. These nanophotonic phased arrays, including the nanophotonic antenna elements and waveguides, can be formed on a single chip of silicon using complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Directional couplers evanescently couple light from the waveguides to the nanophotonic antenna elements, which emit the light as beams with phases and amplitudes selected so that the emitted beams interfere in the far field to produce the desired pattern. In some cases, each antenna in the phased array may be optically coupled to a corresponding variable delay line, such as a thermo-optically tuned waveguide or a liquid-filled cell, which can be used to vary the phase of the antenna's output (and the resulting far-field interference pattern).