A LiDAR sensor comprises four main parts: the laser, the scanner, the detector, and the processing unit.
Laser: The laser is the source of the light that is used to measure the distance between the sensor and an object. It is responsible for emitting pulses of light at a very high frequency. The laser used in LiDAR sensors can be either a solid-state or a gas laser.
Scanner: The scanner is responsible for directing the laser beam in different directions. It rotates or oscillates to scan the environment and collect data. This allows the sensor to create a 3D point cloud of the environment by measuring the distance to different objects in the scene.
Detector: The detector is responsible for receiving the light that is reflected back from the objects in the scene. It converts the light into electrical signals that can be processed and analyzed. The detector can be either a photodiode or a photomultiplier tube.
Processing Unit: The processing unit is responsible for analyzing the data collected by the sensor. It processes the electrical signals from the detector and converts them into usable information. The processing unit can include a microcontroller, a computer, or a specialized ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit).
Each of these parts plays a critical role in the sensor's ability to accurately measure the distance to objects and create detailed 3D models of the environment.