Sensor technology for the measurement of distance and profile of natural targets, based on high speed TOF measurement
A very efficient non-contact distance measurement method is based on the flight time of a short, eye-safe laser pulse to the target and back. The principle is known as pulsed time-of-flight (TOF) distance measurement. The main advantages of TOF measurement include its non-contact, non-disturbing nature, high speed and accuracy, high spatial resolution and wide measurement range. Special reflectors are not needed on the target but can be used to increase the maximum range.
Noptel's TOF distance measurement technology originates from the University of Oulu dating back to the 1970's. Together with the University of Oulu also several other national and international organisations are involved in the company's present active R&D partnership network.
The R&D work during the
1990's has been focused very strongly on developing extremely compact,
low power consumption, 'environment-proof' technology for demanding applications,
including compact diode laser transmitters, application specific integrated
circuits (ASICs) and hermetic sealing for encapsulating the transceiver
modules. This development work has been used in many products, which require
small, inexpensive and accurate measurement unit.
Performance of the Technology
The key characteristics of Noptel's TOF technology are:
Noptel offers its partners
the necessary specialised technology and R&D know-how together with
competitive manufacturing, and can also work as part of the customer's
own product or system design initiative.
An example: Spectra-Physics' LR 2000
The LR 2000 combines advanced laser technology and computing power to measure refractory lining wear in converters and ladles in the steel industry. The product has been developed jointly by Spectra-Physics Vision Tech and Noptel, the latter being responsible for the R&D and the manufacturing of the distance measurement part of the system. (Spectra-Physics Vision Tech is the worldÕs leading supplier of refractory lining control systems.)