A LIDAR consists mainly of a laser source, a laser beam scanner, and the detection optics. Pushed by the automotive market, solid-state LIDARs are promising in bringing the cost down while making them more robust, with no moving parts, and compact. PICs offer some very concrete opportunities for LIDAR. In solid-state LIDARs, PICs can be used as the laser source. When combined with the on-chip components typically used in communications technology, pulsed lasers and frequency-modulated lasers can be realized. PICs can also be used to replace the beam-steering part of the LIDAR, through the use of optical phased arrays. Much like phased-array antennas in wireless communications, such optical phased arrays can shape the laser beam and steer it fast for video-rate three-dimensional imaging. The system has no moving components, as compared to using mechanical and micro-mechanical (MEMS) scanning devices, making it robust, and is lens-free. Laboratory based implementations have already shown the feasibility, and the technology is now moving to the market. Sources and detectors can be integrated on the PIC, with the potential of realizing a fully integrated, single-chip LIDAR, and allowing unprecedented high volumes at low cost. The purpose of the panel discussion on PICs for LIDAR is to discuss these unique selling points of PICs with LIDAR manufacturers, TIER-1 suppliers and OEM in automotive and other markets.
Dr. Grégory Pandraud is VP of Research at Ommatidia LIDAR. Prior joining Ommatidia LIDAR, Grégory was process development manager and assistant professor at the Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands). Before joining TU Delft, Grégory was with Bookham Technology ltd (U.K) and later with Opsitech SA (France) as senior design manager. He received a Ph.D. in optics and optoelectronics from the University of Saint Etienne (France). He has authored more than 150 papers and holds 7 patents.
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Dr. Leisher is Vice President of Research for Freedom Photonics, LLC in Santa Barbara, CA. Prior to joining Freedom Photonics, Dr. Leisher was Chief Engineer for Diode Lasers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) where he served as the principal subject matter expert for high power diode laser technology and led the diode group in support of several research and development programs. From 2011-2017, Dr. Leisher served as Associate Professor of Physics and Optical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Indiana) and as the Manager of Advanced Technology at nLight Corporation (Vancouver, Washington) from 2007-2011. He received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois) in 2002, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Dr. Leisher’s research interests include the design, fabrication, characterization, and analysis of high power semiconductor lasers and other photonic devices. He has authored over 230 technical journal articles and conference presentations and served as the principal investigator on approximately 50 funded research projects in the area of photonics and semiconductor laser technology. He has served on the technical committee of many conferences including IEEE Photonics Conference, IEEE International Semiconductor Laser Conference, IEEE High Power Diode Lasers & Systems Conference, and OSA International Optical Design Conference. He is the co-chair of the SPIE Components and Packaging for Laser Systems Conference and is the program track chair for the SPIE LASE Symposium Nonlinear Optics and Beam Guiding conferences. Dr. Leisher is a senior member of both SPIE and IEEE.
Robert Blum is General Manager of New Business and Sr. Director of Marketing for Intel’s Silicon Photonics Product Division. Prior to joining Intel, Robert was Director of Strategic Marketing at Oclaro Inc., and held various Director of Product Management and Marketing roles for Oclaro’s telecommunications products and consumer laser portfolio. Before joining Oclaro, Robert was Product Line Manager for optical transmission components at JDS Uniphase Corporation and held various engineering and marketing management roles at Gemfire Corporation, all in California. Robert worked at Deutsche Telekom’s research labs in Darmstadt, Germany, while completing his master’s thesis and holds a doctorate degree in Physics from the University of Technology in Hamburg. He has also studied and done research at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at Stanford University, California.