Push the limits of LiDAR detectors
The autonomous driving systems based on today’s Light Detection and Ranging technology still require improvements to meet the highest safety standards needed to gain a wide acceptance level. The current LiDAR detectors rely on concepts, methods and manufacturing processes that have reached a technology maturity and are now limited by the physics of the system.
New technologies are required to obtain a higher accuracy, which will enable object identification partially obscured by adverse weather conditions or earlier spotting than with systems relying on single spectral band detectors.
Our device concept is based on an avalanche photodiode structure with a germanium-tin (GeSn) absorption layer for SWIR detection showing a high peak responsivity.
The GeSn alloy used in the focal-plane array (FPA) of IRIS invention – as core LiDAR component – will provide a competitive advantage in terms of reliability and safety to the automotive sector and, more widely, – the whole terrestrial and aerospace unmanned vehicles industry.
The use of highly sensitive GeSn alloys instead of InGaAs (or MCT) allows for a retina safe operation – above 1.4 µm – and efficient covering of wavelengths in the SWIR spectrum at affordable costs. A multi-spectral functionality in the SWIR provides enhanced situational awareness and viewing during adverse environmental conditions and generates high-resolution image of the same scene with a high degree of detail, clarity and accuracy.
FPA covering at a high quantum efficiency the higher range of the SWIR spectrum with a multi-spectral functionality at affordable costs open the way to new applications: hydroxyl bearing minerals, sulfates, and carbonate materials produced naturally on earth – or directly related to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the deforestation – are easily identified through SWIR spectroscopy. With a spectral capability, the FPA of the invention can thus provide a powerful tool for :
IRIS is a development stage company, based in the state of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, created in March 2017. The main objective of the company is to provide safe and reliable detectors able to sense and avoid obstacles for enhanced autonomous driving features even in adverse climatic situations or light exposition. The ultimate goal of the company is to deliver LiDAR systems for autonomous vehicles, taking advantage of its breakthrough sensor technology.