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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020395

Analysis of 3D Scan Measurement Distribution with Application to a Multi-Beam Lidar on a Rotating Platform

Robotics and Mechatronics Lab, Andalucía Tech, Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
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Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2017)
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Abstract

Multi-beam lidar (MBL) rangefinders are becoming increasingly compact, light, and accessible 3D sensors, but they offer limited vertical resolution and field of view. The addition of a degree-of-freedom to build a rotating multi-beam lidar (RMBL) has the potential to become a common solution for affordable rapid full-3D high resolution scans. However, the overlapping of multiple-beams caused by rotation yields scanning patterns that are more complex than in rotating single beam lidar (RSBL). In this paper, we propose a simulation-based methodology to analyze 3D scanning patterns which is applied to investigate the scan measurement distribution produced by the RMBL configuration. With this purpose, novel contributions include: (i) the adaption of a recent spherical reformulation of Ripley’s K function to assess 3D sensor data distribution on a hollow sphere simulation; (ii) a comparison, both qualitative and quantitative, between scan patterns produced by an ideal RMBL based on a Velodyne VLP-16 (Puck) and those of other 3D scan alternatives (i.e., rotating 2D lidar and MBL); and (iii) a new RMBL implementation consisting of a portable tilting platform for VLP-16 scanners, which is presented as a case study for measurement distribution analysis as well as for the discussion of actual scans from representative environments. Results indicate that despite the particular sampling patterns given by a RMBL, its homogeneity even improves that of an equivalent RSBL. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D laser scanner; multi-beam lidar; spatial data analysis; tilting mechanism; 3D scan pattern analysis 3D laser scanner; multi-beam lidar; spatial data analysis; tilting mechanism; 3D scan pattern analysis
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Morales, J.; Plaza-Leiva, V.; Mandow, A.; Gomez-Ruiz, J.A.; Serón, J.; García-Cerezo, A. Analysis of 3D Scan Measurement Distribution with Application to a Multi-Beam Lidar on a Rotating Platform. Sensors 2018, 18, 395.

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