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LIDAR Module

High resolution continuous cross-sections in 3D

The LIDAR module is based on the RP LIDAR A1M8. It provides scanning out to a 12 meter range yet also works well at short distances down to about 0.1 m. It supports sampling rates up to 8000 points/second with the new Caveatron design, providing for a much denser point cloud. A lower data rate can also be selected that provides a slightly less noisy measurement and provides a quality metric. The rotation speed is adjustable from 3.5 Hz to 7.5 Hz to adjust the scan for different sizes of passages.

The scan resolution depends on how large the passage is and how fast you are moving. The resolution along the circumference of each scanned cross section of wall is a function of distance and can vary from as small as 2 mm in a 1 m wide passage to more 2-3 cm when the wall is 6 m away. In the direction of motion, it depends on your speed and you can expect to obtain a resolution as small as 1-2 cm when you move especially slowly (such as in a crawlway), but may be more like 3-5 cm in larger passages where you may be moving faster. 

This LIDAR requires the use of flat windows as it is triangulation-based, but a custom 3D printed enclosure design has been developed that has minimal corner obscuration and the post-processing software can remove any residual effects of the windows. Other variants of the RP LIDAR exist that are capable of longer range use the same protocol. Support is built into the Caveatron code, however those modules have not yet been tested. In contrast to the previous design, the LIDAR module is completely integrated into the design for reduced size and improved waterproofing.

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