Devices and methods for a rotating LIDAR platform with a shared transmit/receive path

CAFC
  • US 8,836,922 B1
  • Filed: 08/20/2013
  • Issued: 09/16/2014
  • Est. Priority Date: 08/20/2013
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A light detection and ranging (LIDAR) device, comprising:

  • a lens mounted to a housing, wherein the housing is configured to rotate about an axis and has an interior space that includes a transmit block, a receive block, a transmit path, and a receive path, wherein the transmit block has an exit aperture in a wall that comprises a reflective surface, wherein the receive block has an entrance aperture, wherein the transmit path extends from the exit aperture to the lens, and wherein the receive path extends from the lens to the entrance aperture via the reflective surface;

    a plurality of light sources in the transmit block, wherein the plurality of light sources are configured to emit a plurality of light beams through the exit aperture in a plurality of different directions, the light beams comprising light having wavelengths in a wavelength range;

    a plurality of detectors in the receive block, wherein the plurality of detectors are configured to detect light having wavelengths in the wavelength range; and

    wherein the lens is configured to receive the light beams via the transmit path, collimate the light beams for transmission into an environment of the LIDAR device, collect light comprising light from one or more of the collimated light beams reflected by one or more objects in the environment of the LIDAR device, and focus the collected light onto the detectors via the receive path.

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