The Characterization of an Inexpensive Nodding Laser: Using a 2-D Laser for Scanning Terrain in 3 Dimensions

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Authors
  1. Broten, G.
  2. Collier, J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Abstract
The accuracy and reliability of laser rangefinders make them a ubiquitous sensing device employed on many unmanned ground vehicles. Expensive, high performance 3-D laser rangefinders enjoy limited acceptance, whereas static mounts are the preferred configuration for low cost 2-D laser rangefinders. This paper investigates and characterizes the factors affecting the nodding 2-D laser’s performance. This research determined errors in measuring the vehicle’s roll, pitch and yaw have the greatest impact on measurement accuracy. Analysis and simulations revealed that adaptive nodding rates offered unique advantages, especially when used with a terrain map world representation. The nodding mechanism also allows for the acquisition of multiple range data sets over the same terrain patch. These multiple data sets alleviate some of the problems traditionally associated with laser rangefinders, but they place more stringent requirements on the vehicle’s pose accuracy. DRDC, in conjunction with Scientific Instrumentation Ltd., developed an inexpensive nodding SICK laser device and this device’s 3-D data was an essential contributor to the successful Autonomous Land Systems demonstration.

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Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TR-2005-232 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2005
Number of Pages
48
DSTKIM No
CA026918
CANDIS No
524915
Format(s):
CD ROM

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