When it comes to autonomous driving, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technologies are the foundation upon which a next-generation machine vision can be built. LiDAR sensors, together with radar and cameras, will be linked by artificial intelligence (AI) to enable the highest level of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS 5) and allow for full automation of all driving functions. However, none of the existing LiDAR technologies on the market today meet the performance and reliability requirements to support fully autonomous driving at a competitive price level. SCHOTT is prepared to propel autonomous driving into the future with the broadest range of high-quality glass components and hermetic packaging available to LiDAR manufacturers and suppliers at scale.
International technology group SCHOTT unveils a new approach to the supply of the burgeoning LiDAR market that emphasizes the broadest portfolio of glass material for the industry, combined with unmatched expertise and product consulting capabilities. SCHOTT’s high-performance materials are a key component for manufacturers developing LiDAR technology – from protective windows to optical components and hermetic packages. “SCHOTT’s holistic approach in combination with customized solutions can significantly help to improve sensing technologies,” explains Boris Eichhorn, project leader for “LiDAR” at SCHOTT. “SCHOTT is therefore a reliable partner for advancing LiDAR technologies – e.g. mechanical spinning, MEMs scanning, flash and optical phased array (OPA).”
High-quality protective windows withstand harsh conditions
LiDAR systems need protection from rain, temperature fluctuations and impacts from gravel, rocks, and other debris. Specialty glasses are ideally suited as cover windows that protect sensitive components from the environment, especially compared to other transparent materials, e.g. polymers. However, strength is not the only factor. Protective windows must feature high- transmission that allows near infrared (NIR) to pass through, while attenuating visible ambient light. Glass absorption filters RG850 have both; they are transparent in the NIR and opaque in the visible range.
LiDAR sensors that require protective windows with high transmission, excellent mechanical strength, outstanding thermal resistance and high chemical durability are best served by BOROFLOAT® 33 glass.
In addition, an anti-reflective (AR) coating with a hardness close to sapphire is proven to be very robust under harsh mechanical abrasion conditions for use in optics for UV, visible and infrared laser systems. LiDAR specific coatings that are optimized for NIR wavelength ranges are available for testing.
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