Time of flight (TOF) based light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is a technology for calculating distance between start/stop signals of time of flight. In lab-built LiDAR, two ranging systems for measuring flying time between start/stop signals include time-to-digital converter (TDC) that counts time between trigger signals and analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that processes the sampled start/stop pulses waveform for time estimation. We study the influence of waveform characteristics on range accuracy and precision of two kinds of ranging system. Comparing waveform based ranging (WR) with analog discrete return system based ranging (AR), a peak detection method (WR-PK) shows the best ranging performance because of less execution time, high ranging accuracy, and stable precision. Based on a novel statistic mathematical method maximal information coefficient (MIC), WR-PK precision has a high linear relationship with the received pulse width standard deviation. Thus keeping the received pulse width of measuring a constant distance as stable as possible can improve ranging precision.
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