Profiles for Nodding Lasers – Implementations and Results: Sensing the World in an Intelligent Manner


  1. Broten, G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Historically, Defence R&D Canada investigated tele-operated vehicles, but in 2002 its re- search focus moved to general autonomy for land, air, and sea craft. Autonomy demands that the unmanned vehicle sense and represent its world as a prerequisite to intelligent navigation. A key element of Defence R&D Canada – Suffield’s sensing suite is the nodding laser rangfinder that DRDC developed in conjunction with Scientific Instrumentation Ltd. The laser range data, returned from the nodding SICK laser, is the primary data source for DRDC’s 2 1/2 D grid-map-based world representation. In its original form, the SICK laser nodded at a constant angular rate nodding profile. This implementation proved adequate for the fall 2005 Autonomous Land Systems demonstration, but the original implementation was utilitarian in nature. Although the constant angular rate nodding profile has yielded admirable results, analysis has shown that an adaptive nodding rate should theoretically yield even better results. Researchers at DRDC modified the nodding device’s software to support user-definable, adaptive nodding profiles. Field tests exercised the new embedded software and revealed that the adaptive nodding system performed correctly. Experiments were then conducted to compare the performance of the constant angular rate profile to the performance of the adaptive nodding profile. These experiments revealed the performance of the adaptive nodding profile to be superior to that of the const

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Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TM-2007-295 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2007
Number of Pages

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