Uncrewed Systems Technology 044 l Xer Technolgies X12 and X8 l Lidar sensors l Stan UGV l USVs insight l AUVSI Xponential 2022 l Cobra Aero A99H l Accession Class USV l Connectors I Oceanology International 2022

38 L idar sensors are a key element in the design of many uncrewed platforms. A near-infrared laser, invisible to surrounding people, can provide detection of obstacles at distances of up to 300 m for driverless cars and trucks, or at ranges of 10-50 m for industrial robots. Sensor developers have used a number of techniques to boost the range and reduce the size and cost of such devices, with many designs moving to micro-machined and solid- state approaches. New techniques for assembling the sensors are also being explored to reduce costs, by combining the lasers, mirrors and sensors under a glass dome to provide the optics in a fully automated assembly process. This can help to reduce the size and cost of the sensors, and improve performance. New approaches to the design of Lidar sensors are also driving down the size and cost with more integration. Metamaterials built from nanoscale structures are opening up new ways to reduce the size and weight of the Lidar sensor developers continue to improve the performance of their products and enable a wider range of applications, writes Nick Flaherty Better, smaller and further June/July 2022 | Uncrewed Systems Technology A new process encapsulates micro-machined mirrors for low-cost Lidar sensors (Courtesy of Fraunhofer Institute)