US 9,812,838 B2
Pulsed laser for lidar system
Alain Villeneuve, Mont-Royal (CA); and Jason M. Eichenholz, Orlando, FL (US)
Assigned to Luminar Technologies, Inc., Portola Valley, CA (US)
Filed by Luminar Technologies, Inc., Portola Valley, CA (US)
Filed on Mar. 27, 2017, as Appl. No. 15/470,694.
Application 15/470,694 is a continuation of application No. 15/363,795, filed on Nov. 29, 2016.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/261,214, filed on Nov. 30, 2015.
Prior Publication US 2017/0201059 A1, Jul. 13, 2017
Int. Cl. G01C 3/08 (2006.01); H01S 3/067 (2006.01); G01S 7/483 (2006.01); H01S 3/10 (2006.01); H01S 3/00 (2006.01); G01S 17/02 (2006.01)
CPC H01S 3/06754 (2013.01) [G01S 7/483 (2013.01); G01S 17/02 (2013.01); H01S 3/0007 (2013.01); H01S 3/0078 (2013.01); H01S 3/0085 (2013.01); H01S 3/0675 (2013.01); H01S 3/10023 (2013.01)] 24 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A lidar system comprising:
a seed laser configured to produce optical seed pulses at one or more operating wavelengths between approximately 1400 nm and 2050 nm, wherein the seed laser comprises:
a plurality of laser diodes; and
an optical multiplexer configured to combine light produced by the plurality of laser diodes into a single optical fiber;
a first fiber-optic amplifier configured to amplify the optical seed pulses with a first gain to produce a first amplifier output that comprises amplified seed pulses and amplified spontaneous emission (ASE);
a first optical filter configured to remove from the first-amplifier output at least a portion of the ASE by transmitting light at the one or more operating wavelengths and attenuating light at other wavelengths by at least 20 dB;
a second fiber-optic amplifier configured to receive the amplified seed pulses from the first optical filter and to amplify them with a second gain to produce output pulses having a pulse repetition frequency less than or equal to 100 MHz, a pulse duration less than or equal to 20 nanoseconds, a duty cycle less than or equal to 1%, a pulse energy greater than or equal to 10 nanojoules, a peak power greater than or equal to 1 watt, and an average power less than or equal to 50 watts, the ASE comprising less than or equal to 25% of the average power; and
a plurality of sensor heads to direct at least a portion of the output pulses into a plurality of fields of view and to detect reflected or scattered light therefrom.