OVERVIEW

THERE ARE SEVERAL CATEGORIES OF LIDAR MARKETS THAT ARE DISTINGUISHABLE BY THEIR APPLICATION AND REQUIREMENTS: (1) INDUSTRIAL & SURVEY, (2) TACTICAL SUPPORT, (3) AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES, AND (4) COMPUTER INTERFACE. A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EACH IS PRESENTED BELOW.

INDUSTRIAL & SURVEY

THESE TWO CLOSELY RELATED MARKET SEGMENTS ARE DRIVEN BY THE NEED FOR PRECISION 3D ENVIRONMENTAL MAPPING. THEY REQUIRE MEDIUM- (INDUSTRIAL/CONSTRUCTION) TO LONG- (GEOLOGICAL SURVEY) RANGE OPERATION WITH HIGH ANGULAR RESOLUTION AND WIDE FIELD OF REGARD. THE MARKET IS WELL ESTABLISHED AND STAND-ALONE SYSTEMS ARE AVAILABLE THAT MEET THEIR REQUIREMENTS. THEY UTILIZE MECHANICALLY SCANNED SYSTEM ARCHITECTURES AND ARE TOLERANT OF CORRESPONDING SLOW IMAGE UPDATE RATES.

TACTICAL SUPPORT

THIS CATEGORY DESCRIBES LIDAR SYSTEMS DESIGNED TO ASSIST VEHICLE OPERATORS IDENTIFY AND EVALUATE TACTICAL SITUATIONS. EXAMPLES ARE OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH AVIATION AND VARY FROM FIGHTER PILOTS IDENTIFYING HOSTILE ORDINANCE AT STAND-OFF DISTANCES TO VTOL PILOTS EVALUATING LANDING ZONES. HUMAN COMPATIBLE INTERFACE REQUIRES VIDEO STREAM REFRESH RATES AND AVIATION DISTANCES REQUIRE MEDIUM- TO LONG-RANGE OPERATION. CURRENT REAL-TIME SYSTEMS UTILIZE FLASH ILLUMINATION ARCHITECTURE AND ARE LIMITED IN RANGE, RESOLUTION AND FIELD-OF-VIEW. THERE IS AN UNMET NEED FOR FAST RESPONSE SYSTEMS OF SUFFICIENTLY LONG RANGE TO SERVICE THIS MARKET SEGMENT.

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

3D SENSORS WILL BE REQUIRED FOR VEHICLE AUTONOMOUS MANEUVERING. THIS EXCITING NEW MARKET WILL BE DRIVEN BY THE COMING REVOLUTION IN TRANSPORTATION ENCOMPASSING AREAL DRONES, SELF DRIVING CARS, AND HIGH MOBILITY ROBOTS. IT WILL DWARF OTHER MARKET SEGMENTS IN SIZE AND UNIT VOLUME OVER THE NEXT TWO DECADES. SPEED, COST, VERSATILITY, AND INTERFERENCE IMMUNITY WILL BE KEY METRICS THAT WILL FURTHER SUBDIVIDE THIS SEGMENT. DATA INTERPRETATION BY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PROCESSORS WILL ALLOW FOR HIGHLY EFFICIENT SENSOR OUTPUTS THAT ARE NOT LIMITED TO GEOMETRIC IMAGERY.

COMPUTER INTERFACE

HIGH RESOLUTION SENSORS FOR GAMING AND VIRTUAL REALITY APPLICATIONS THAT RECOGNIZE MOVEMENTS AND GESTURES ARE IN DEVELOPMENT. THESE UNITS WILL BE FASTER TO MARKET THAN THOSE BEING DEVELOPED FOR TACTICAL SUPPORT OR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES BUT WILL ULTIMATELY UTILIZE MUCH OF THEIR TECHNOLOGY AS THEIR PRICE POINT COMES DOWN.