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.
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.