• NEXT GENERATION LiDAR TECHNOLOGY

Single Photon Lidar

 

Single Photon LiDAR

HOW IT WORKS

SPL provides the most efficient approach to rapid, high-resolution 3D mapping. SPL requires only one detected photon per ranging measurement, as opposed to hundreds or thousands of detected photons per ranging measurement for conventional or Geiger Mode airborne LiDARs. The higher efficiency of the SPL offers more 3D mapping capability in terms of swath, spatial resolution, acquisition time and density of range returns. Sigma's ability to rapidly deliver 3D data over thousands of square kilometers is changing the way we observe and analyze Earth.

Single photon sensitive 3D imaging LiDARs have multiple advantages relative to conventional multi-photon LiDARs. Their high efficiency enables orders of magnitude more imaging capability for a given laser power-receive aperture product. In our Single Photon LiDARs (SPLs), single photon sensitivity is combined with timing receivers having nanosecond recovery times and a multistop timing capability per pixel. These characteristics enable our LiDARs to operate under conditions of full solar illumination and to penetrate semiporous obscurations such as vegetation, ground fog, thin clouds, etc. Also, the use of green (532 nanometer) laser proves to offer additional capability for water penetration (bathymetry) as the SPL is able to routinely measure the surface of the water as well as the topography below the water.

SPL Applications

With the rising trend of LiDAR usage for commercial applications, Sigma Space’s SPL systems will allow decision makers access to high resolution 3D data easily and more frequently.

Sigma Space's SPL systems provide high resolution 3D data used by decision makers across industries. SPL cost efficiency and speed provides affordable and timely information in a wide-area scale previously unavailable. For the first time, evaluation of 3D change in a dynamic manner is possible with survey grade accuracy, high spatial resolution and State-wide area scale. Sigma Space's vertically integrated data acquisition-to-final product enterprise is currently providing 3D terrain and infrastructure data products to government and commercial customers. Sigma Space has capabilities in instrument design and fabrication, operation and data delivery. Our ability to service one or all capabilities allows us to provide the most cost efficient and flexible solution to our customers.

SPL Solutions

Sigma Space's SPL systems provide high resolution 3D data used by decision makers across industries. SPL cost efficiency and speed provides affordable and timely information in a wide-area scale previously unavailable. For the first time, evaluation of 3D change in a dynamic manner is possible with survey grade accuracy, high spatial resolution and State-wide area scale. Sigma Space's vertically integrated data acquisition-to-final product enterprise is currently providing 3D terrain and infrastructure data products to government and commercial customers. Sigma Space has capabilities in instrument design and fabrication, operation and data delivery. Our ability to service one or all capabilities allows us to provide the most cost efficient and flexible solution to our customers.

ADDITIONAL SPL INFORMATION

Contact Name: Katie Fitzsimmons
Email: Katie.Fitzsimmons@sigmaspace.com
Phone: 301-552-6000

  • EFFICIENCY

    Single Photon LiDAR (SPL) is up to 30 times faster than any other conventional airborne LiDAR operating today. Speed and rapid coverage lead to affordable and timely 3D mapping for the most effective decisions and policy. Rapid acquisition results in lower acquisition costs and the ability to repeat acquisitions regularly.

    SPL requires only one detected photon per ranging measurement, as opposed to 100’s or 1000’s from other sensors.

    Due to its multiple-stop, fast-recovery detectors and timing-electronics, SPL can operate effectively in daylight and penetrate semi-porous targets such as vegetation, tree canopies, ground fog, optically thin clouds, and water columns.

  • RESOLUTION

    Orders of magnitude more efficient than conventional LiDARs, SPL delivers superior swath, spatial resolution, and density of range returns. A high speed scanner is synchronized to the laser pulse train and can generate a wide variety of patterns allowing you to see the fine details like individual power lines and forest canopy structure from altitudes of 25,000 feet. The transmitter and receiver share a common telescope and scanner resulting in resolution accurate to centimeters thanks to a sub-nanosecond pulse.

  • SCALABILTY

    No longer does high-altitude operation mean low-quality maps.

    SPL delivers detailed 3D images from altitudes of over 50,000 feet, with the potential for spaceflight applications. High-bandwith, low-deadtime detectors and multistop timing electronics enable and allow SPL to deliver across applications including but not limited to shallow-water bathymetry, terrian and vegetation mapping, foliage and fog penetration while recording multiple events per pixel channel per shot operating day or night.

  • FLEXIBILITY

    Available dual-wedge scanners allow users to choose between a wide field of view with moderate resolution and a narrower field of view with high resolution to meet varying mission requirements. Operators can even choose from wide range of scan patterns including linear, conical, spiral, etc.

    Wide range of scan patterns allow for delivery across applications including but not limited to, high-altitude wide-area surveillance and reconnaissance, submersible and mine detection, biomass estimation, cryosphere and ice elevation mapping and much more. The data collected by SPL can be completed with ground images taken by the integrated high-definition camera.

  • DATA ACQUISITION

    Sigma Space’s team of engineers and operational staff provide full acquisition solutions – including aircraft integration, data acquisition, ground trothing and flight planning. Sigma has experience flying over 1,700 km2 in a three day campaign. Sigma’s Acquisition team works with customers to identify their data needs and creates a customized plan to ensure maximum performance in the least amount of time.

  • DATA PRODUCTS

    Sigma Space’s Data Team is dedicated to delivery high quality data products customers rely on to make decisions and create policy. Sigma’s team can deliver common topography models, such as Digital Elevation Models and Digital Surface Models and classified surfaces. In addition, the Data Team has growing capabilities in bathymetry and hydrology models.

    Sigma is exploring partnerships with many firms to exploit our high density point clouds, including vegetation speciation, power line assessment and vegetation removal, and high precision seafloor contouring.

  • INSTRUMENT DEVELOPMENT

    In 2007, Sigma made a commitment to developing the next generation of topographic mapping systems. Through innovative design and relentless focus on success, Sigma has delivered seven SPL instruments in seven years, each providing more capability or better performance.

    Our development efforts are never ending and our staff - 75% of which are Ph.D’s and engineers - are committed to continually delivering new and innovative products.

  • Bathymetric Capability

    Where most commercial LiDARs operate with near infrared light, SPL uses green (532nm) light, which can penetrate water to significant depths. SPL is able to routinely measure the surface of the water as well as the topography below the water.

  • Risk Management

    Sigma Space’s SPL LiDAR terrain data can be used to reduce non-point source pollution, provide data on coast line mapping and data products assist in insurance assessment and provide elevation data that can be used for flood-area profiling used for emergency management and insurance assessment. Additionally SPL data flown regularly can put real time change detection information in the hands of policy and decision makers, insurance firms and emergency responders.

  • Urban Development

    High Resolution 3D data from SPL systems provide precision measurement of construction sites, built structures, and development areas. LiDAR may be used for the evaluation of solar power capability in urban areas and provide fundamental layer for all GIS applications. Additionally, LiDAR data combined with transmission-control technology and in-vehicle location and navigation allow down-shift and up-shift transmissions in anticipation of gradients ahead.

 

Micro Pulse LiDAR

www.micropulseLiDAR.com

HOW IT WORKS

Micro Pulse LiDAR (MPL) is a sophisticated laser remote sensing system that provides continuous, unattended monitoring of the profiles and optical properties of clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere. Based on the same principle as radar, MPL transmits laser pulses that scatter (reflect) off particles in the atmosphere. MPL then measures the intensity of backscattered light using photon-counting detectors and transforms the signal into atmospheric-information in real time.

Sigma Space has been manufacturing MPL systems since 2004 providing high-resolution aerosol profiling, optically robust and resistant to misalignments, low-maintenance and optimized laser, continuous and autonomous data collection all the while being operational within minutes. Those who can benefit from MPL technology are meteorologists, atmospheric and environmental researchers and regulators, airports and air traffic controllers, and wind farmers. MPL Technology can enhance weather and air quality forecasts, improve models and emissions estimates by determining the extent of manmade and natural aerosols and measuring PBL height and trends, optimize aviation safety through enhanced cloud and volcanic ash profiling as well as help improve wind pattern forecasts for site evaluation and management.

MPL Applications

Micro Pulse LiDAR product family from Sigma Space offers the most versatile laser remote sensors for aerosol and cloud profiling. Equipped with the most sensitive single photon-counting technology, these LiDARs are in use worldwide for aerosol research, planetary boundary layer observation, air-quality monitoring and forecasting. Available options such as 2-axis scanners, weather stations and GIS offer a complete measurement set for a single station or a regional network. With unmatched signal performance, real time data products are displayed at the instrument level, or viewable remotely using an internet browser across a network. Our customers include NASA, US Department of Energy, US EPA, meteorological offices and academic organizations.

ADDITIONAL MPL INFORMATION

Website: www.micropulseLiDAR.com
Contact Name: Justin Fisher
Email: Justin.fisher@sigmaspace.com
MPL global agents and locations: http://www.micropulseLiDAR.com/agents.html

  • Volcanic Ash

    Clouds and fog contain spherical liquid droplets, which have a low depolarization ratio. Volcanic ash particles are asymmetrical, and have a high depolarization ratio, which is readily detected by MPL systems thanks to their dual polarization channels.  With so much riding on their decisions, airports need the best information science and technology can provide. Combining sensitive volcanic ash detection with continuous, worry-free operation, MPLs are the clear choice for determining when it’s safe to fly.

    Measuring ash concentration in seconds to maximize aviation safety was first demonstrated by Sigma Space's MPL's volcanic ash detection capabilities in Japan following the Shinmoedake eruption in January 2011. MPL was again deployed in Argentina in January 2012, following the eruption of the Chilean volcano Puyehue-marking the world's first operational use of real-time LiDAR ash data at an airport for aviation safety.

  • Aerosols / Pollution Monitoring

    Aerosols are among the most influential pollutants; thus understanding their dynamics is essential for air quality forecasts.  Most effects of aerosols on climate, such as scattering and absorption of sunlight and their effects on clouds, require knowing their vertical distribution trends.  Our Micro Pulse LiDAR (MPL) provides a real-time visual display of aerosols and clouds along any path. MPL is becoming a standard instrument for measuring aerosol trends and air quality forecasting.

    With their accurate measurements of aerosol structure, Sigma Space's MPL has the unique ability to track aerosol transport and mixing into surface layers of air, observe plumes from major events such as forest fires, dust storms, and volcanic eruptions, as well as trace gas-phase pollutants via their associated aerosols.

  • Plumes

    Our MiniMPL can provide a quantitative determination of the opacity of an emission plume remotely, during daytime or nighttime hours. Using precise measurements of plume opacity, MiniMPL can improve our understanding of pollution level and air quality for environmental monitoring and enforcement.

    With the optional 2-axis scanner, sources and sinks of air pollutants can be identified.  We can mitigate pollution by knowing the location and spread of emissions in order to predict impact on human life.  Using MPL data, mining sites can monitor and control dust transportations into neighboring areas as well as complying with local regulations.

  • Planetary Boundary Layer

    MPL can provide fast, reliable, high-resolution Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) measurements through effective aerosol tracking. Since aerosols accumulate in the PBL, the layer of the atmosphere closest to Earth's surface, MPL's are ideally suited for PBL profiling across applications. Solar heating of the planet's surface readily warms the air in the PBL, driving the weather. As a result, measuring PBL height and approximate volume enhances weather prediction models.

    The right tool for the job: For PBL measurement, MPL and MiniMPL leave ceilometers in the dust, giving customers superior signal-to-noise ratio, fast nd high resolution reports pf PBL structure, and reliable PBL measurements. MPL can allow you to see PBL top through low cloud decks, no need for extended averaging periods or spatial filtering requirement and reliable enough to measure PBL from day to night and from hazy summer months to clear winter conditions.