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Can a laser see through dirt?

In the episode of “Light Experiments” to answer this question Mohit, one of our support engineers, has devised an experiment. 

To simulate dust and dirt on the lens, Mohit has used coffee granules on the surface of a LiDAR lens. For the purposes of this experiment, we have used a SF30/D microLiDAR linked to a computer running LightWare Studio for live readings. The SF30/D is positioned on a desk facing upwards so that it is measuring the distance to the roof. In this way, we will be able to see any impact that the coffee granules have on the LiDARs ability to measure at this distance.

The video kicks off with the LiDAR measuring the distance from the deck to the roof without obstruction. The signal is stable and reports a constant 1.79 meters. Then as we start to sprinkle the coffee granules on the lens you can see the impact of both the glass (containing the coffee granules) and Phil’s hand. This is shown on LightWare Studio as the LIDAR detects an obstruction at close range. Even as the lens is completely covered, we still see a stable signal at 1.79 meters, despite the coffee granules. This effectively demonstrates just how resilient our microLiDARs are even in the most challenging environments. 

*Whilst we do our best to demonstrate our product in a practical and honest way, please note that LiDAR performance may be impacted depending on range, nature of obstruction or ambient conditions.

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