Radiometric Calibration of an Inexpensive LED-Based Lidar Sensor

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Sep 13;20(18):5215. doi: 10.3390/s20185215.


Radiometric calibration of laser-based, topographic lidar sensors that measure range via time of flight or phase difference is well established. However, inexpensive, short-range lidar sensors that utilize non-traditional ranging techniques, such as indirect time of flight, may report radiometric quantities that are not appropriate for existing calibration methods. One such lidar sensor is the TeraRanger Evo 60 m by Terabee, whose reported amplitude measurements do not vary smoothly with the amount of return signal power. We investigate the performance of a new radiometric calibration model, one based on a neural network, applied to the Evo 60 m. The proposed model is found to perform similarly to those applied to traditional lidar sensors, with root mean square errors in predicted target reflectance of no more than ±6% for non-specular surfaces. The radiometric calibration model provides a generic approach that may be applicable to other low-cost lidar sensors that report return signal amplitudes that are not smoothly proportional to target range and reflectance.

Keywords: lidar; neural networks; radiometric calibration.