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Synchronized microscanner array for large aperture receiver optics of LIDAR systems

: Sandner, T.; Grasshoff, T.; Wildenhain, M.; Schenk, H.


Schenk, H. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
MOEMS and miniaturized systems IX : 25 - 27 January 2010, San Francisco, California, United States; at SPIE Photonics West
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2010 (Proceedings of SPIE 7594)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-7990-7
Paper 75940C
Conference "MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems" <9, 2010, San Francisco/Calif.>
Photonics West Conference <2010, San Franciso/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPMS ()

Traditional laser scanners for 3D distance measurement involve expensive, heavy, (potentially) slow rotating mirrors for light deflection of the scanning TOF (time of flight) distance measurement, not suitable for compact, robust and highly portable LIDAR system. On the other hand MEMS scanners are limited to small apertures not suitable for a precise TOF measurement. To overcome this problem Fraunhofer IPMS presents a large aperture 1D-MEMS scanner array especially designed for LIDAR applications. It is composed of 2 x 7 silicon mirror elements each having an identical design with comparatively large aperture of 2.51 x 9.51mm² and ±30° optical scan range. All mirrors are driven electrostatically resonant with identical frequency close to design frequency of 250 Hz. By driving control all single scanner elements are synchronized to identical phase and amplitude in respect to a master scanner. This results in a large effective scanner aperture of 334 mm² for the receiver optics and a filling factor of 80 %. To guarantee the synchronized operation the paper discusses in detail the scanner design to enable a sufficiently large frequency bandwidth of all scanner elements to the compensate frequency tolerances caused by fabrication and packaging. In comparison to LIDAR systems with conventional scanner components, the large aperture 1D-MEMS scanner array enables 3D-LIDAR systems to become significantly smaller, more robust and (potentially) less expensive, also higher scan rates can be realized without additional efforts (e.g. no air bearings are needed).