Aurora Innovation has filed a patent for a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system that includes a transmitter, a receiving pixel, a rotating mirror, and a beam displacement apparatus. The system compensates for the spacing between the transmitter and the receiving pixel by introducing a displacement to the returning beam. The patent claims have been canceled. GlobalData’s report on Aurora Innovation gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Aurora Innovation, Autonomous freight management was a key innovation area identified from patents. Aurora Innovation's grant share as of September 2023 was 46%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Lidar system with beam displacement to compensate for spacing

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Aurora Innovation Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230251359A1) describes a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system for vehicles. LIDAR systems use lasers to measure distances and create detailed maps of the surrounding environment.

The LIDAR system outlined in the patent includes a transmitter that emits a beam towards an object, and a receiving pixel that captures the returning beam reflected from the object. To compensate for the spacing between the transmitter and the receiving pixel, a beam displacement apparatus is introduced. This apparatus introduces a displacement to the returning beam, ensuring accurate measurements.

The system also includes one or more mirrors that direct the transmit beam towards the object and direct the returning beam to the receiving pixel. These mirrors can be fixed or rotating, with the rotating mirror compensating for any reflection angle differences between the transmit and returning beams. The rotating mirror can rotate in different directions during regular operation.

The beam displacement apparatus consists of various elements, such as a waveplate and a beam displacer element, or a lens and a beam displacer element. These elements help collimate the transmit beam and introduce the necessary displacement to the returning beam. Additionally, a switchable beam rotator is included in the beam displacement apparatus, which can rotate the transmit polarization of the transmit beam.

The patent also mentions an autonomous vehicle control system that incorporates the LIDAR device. This control system includes the same components as the LIDAR system, such as the transmitter, receiving pixel, and beam displacement apparatus. It also utilizes one or more mirrors, including a rotating mirror, to direct the transmit and returning beams.

Finally, the patent describes an autonomous vehicle equipped with the LIDAR device. This vehicle includes the same components as the previous systems, including the transmitter, receiving pixel, and beam displacement apparatus. The beam displacement apparatus in this case also includes a switchable beam rotator.

Overall, this patent outlines a LIDAR system and its various configurations for vehicles, including autonomous vehicles. The system utilizes mirrors, beam displacement apparatus, and other elements to ensure accurate measurements and mapping of the surrounding environment.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.