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Seminar: CMOS transceivers for pulsed TOF laser range finders

The development of circuits for pulsed time-of-flight (TOF) laser range finders has been one of the main areas of research at the Electronics Laboratory of University of Oulu already over 30 years. Head of the laboratory and the group is professor Juha Kostamovaara. There are many applications for pulsed TOF laser radars such as the positioning of tools and vehicles, the profiling and scanning of surfaces, anti-collision radars and traffic perception, for example.

The main components of the pulsed time-of-flight (TOF) laser range finders are the laser diode driver, the receiver channel and the time-to-digital converter (TDC). The research of the group has been divided among these three subareas. The main aim of the work as receiver channel point of view has been to achieve an accurate timing discrimination performance within a wide dynamic range of the received echo signal and on the other hand to design TDC which could achieve mm- cm- level accuracy and precision. In addition the aim has been to design a single chip realization where both the receiver channel and TDC are into a single die.

Transmitter point of view the main aim has been to generate optical transients using high-speed laser diodes based on “enhanced gain switching” and also high-speed electrical pulse generation with Si and GaAs transistors. The picosecond laser diode structure based on enhanced gain switching is capable to generate the pulse power of 10 W with pulse width of 100 ps using a simple driver structure.

Speaker: Jan Nissinen has received the M.Sc. Eng., Licentiate of Tech. and Dr.Tech degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Oulu, Finland, in 2002, 2007 and 2011, respectively. His research interests include the design of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, the optical receiver channel for the integrated receiver of pulsed time-of-flight laser rangefinders and detector array for the pulsed Raman spectroscopy.

David Stoppa
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