Some issues relating to performance evaluation of LADARs


The use and scope of LADAR applications continues to expand as the technology matures. This growth is reflected in NIST’s experience with research into the applications of LADARs for construction, manufacturing, and autonomous vehicle navigation. However, standard protocols or procedures for calibrating and testing of LADARs have yet to be developed. Because selections of LADAR instruments are generally based on the manufacturer’s specifications, the availability of standard test procedures would promote more uniform definitions of these specifications and provide a basis for a more rational decision. Consequently, NIST’s Construction Metrology and Automation Group (CMAG) has conducted exploratory experiments to characterize the performance of a LADAR. The experiences gained in these efforts are summarized in this paper. These experiences also pointed to the need for an internal calibration/testing facility at NIST, as well as to the need for the development of uniform specifications and test procedures for LADARs. As a result, NIST convened a workshop on the establishment of a LADAR calibration facility. A discussion of some of the issues relating to the performance evaluation of LADARs and facility requirements is also presented in this paper

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