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Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4338; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124338

Background Light Rejection in SPAD-Based LiDAR Sensors by Adaptive Photon Coincidence Detection

1
Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems, 47057 Duisburg, Germany
2
Department of Electronic Components and Circuits, University Duisburg-Essen, 47057 Duisburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 8 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The International SPAD Sensor Workshop)
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Abstract

Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems based on silicon single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD) offer several advantages, like the fabrication of system-on-chips with a co-integrated detector and dedicated electronics, as well as low cost and high durability due to well-established CMOS technology. On the other hand, silicon-based detectors suffer from high background light in outdoor applications, like advanced driver assistance systems or autonomous driving, due to the limited wavelength range in the infrared spectrum. In this paper we present a novel method based on the adaptive adjustment of photon coincidence detection to suppress the background light and simultaneously improve the dynamic range. A major disadvantage of fixed parameter coincidence detection is the increased dynamic range of the resulting event rate, allowing good measurement performance only at a specific target reflectance. To overcome this limitation we have implemented adaptive photon coincidence detection. In this technique the parameters of the photon coincidence detection are adjusted to the actual measured background light intensity, giving a reduction of the event rate dynamic range and allowing the perception of high dynamic scenes. We present a 192 × 2 pixel CMOS SPAD-based LiDAR sensor utilizing this technique and accompanying outdoor measurements showing the capability of it. In this sensor adaptive photon coincidence detection improves the dynamic range of the measureable target reflectance by over 40 dB. View Full-Text
Keywords: light detection and ranging (LiDAR); time-of-flight (TOF); single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD); CMOS; system-on-chip (SoC); background light rejection light detection and ranging (LiDAR); time-of-flight (TOF); single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD); CMOS; system-on-chip (SoC); background light rejection
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Beer, M.; Haase, J.F.; Ruskowski, J.; Kokozinski, R. Background Light Rejection in SPAD-Based LiDAR Sensors by Adaptive Photon Coincidence Detection. Sensors 2018, 18, 4338.

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