Slow light to speed up LiDAR sensors development

Phys.org  January 14, 2020 Currently existing optical beam steering devices uses mechanics that make them large, unstable, heavy, with limited overall speed and a high cost. Optical phased arrays for steering beams requires many optical antennas. Researchers in Japan used a special waveguide “photonic crystal,” aimed through a silicon-etched medium. Light is slowed down and emitted to the free space when forced to interact with the photonic crystal. They engaged a prism lens to then direct the beam in the desired direction. The resulting method and device are small-sized, free of moving mechanics, setting the stage for a solid-state LiDAR. […]

New lidar instruments peer skyward for clues on weather and climate

Phys.org  May 21, 2019 There is a critical need for vertical measurement profiles of humidity, aerosols, and temperature in the lower troposphere to provide needed coverage for improved weather and climate forecasting across the U.S. There has been a gap in the instrumentation to meet this vision for research and monitoring without relying on aircraft-based devices. A team of researchers in the US (Montana State University, NCAR) has developed diode-based micro-pulse DIAL (MPD) technology as an economical route to a profiler that could make accurate measurements and fulfill desired specifications for continuous, unattended operation and eye safety. The technology will […]