LIDAR Scanner

This page is about the LIDAR Scanner. If you are interested in the dataset created by this scanner, please visit MapGMU.

Light Detection and Ranging (also known as LIDAR) is a sensor technology where light is used to make measurements. There are several kinds of LIDAR sensors. The kind that we are interested in is rangefinder LIDAR, which usually measures the distances to objects by firing narrow pulses of light from a laser and measuring the time interval between when the pulse is emitted and the reflection of the pulse is detected. By scanning a LIDAR across an object, we can get an idea of not only its distance, but its geometry (shape) as well.

HDL-64EWe are interested in the many applications for LIDAR including robotic simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), autonomous robotic navigation, motion planning and tracking, motion estimation for rehabilitation, real-time tele-immersion, landscape analysis for geographic information systems (GIS), and architecture reconstruction for simulation of the transportation of pollutants. In particular, we an interested in developing geometric algorithms (such as reconstruction of 3D models from captured data) , data mining methods on spatiotemporal data, and object and shape recognition.

To meet the demands of the aforementioned application, we have obtained the Velodyne HDL-64E LIDAR scanner. It is capable of 3D scanning with a 360 degree field of view (FOV), at high resolution (1.3 mpps), and with a high frame rate (5-15 Hz). This sensor is responsible for the success of several autonomous cars by Google and Autonomos Labs, several DARPA Urban Challenge teams, and an award-winning Radiohead music video.

Here is an example LIDAR scan of the GMU Autonomous Robotics Lab:


A cartoon picture of our prototype system.


Computer Science @ George Mason University