Stefan Schwarzer


The Development of Laser Scanning Systems from the Viewpoint of a Research Institute

Laser scanners are complex devices that work based on unique combinations of challenging opto-mechanical, opto-electronical and software techniques. The technological advance is driven by many factors: the actual measurement or automation task in the field, safety and handling considerations, the availability of opto-electronical components, an increase of computational resources that support sophisticated data processing techniques, but also soft factors such as the experience background of the engineers involved in the development. In this presentation I will show how these factors enter and push the development process, often close to at least one of the physical or technological limits. In the process we will address some of the fundamental limitations of scanner devices and it will become clear why, for example, the scanner sufficiently small for integration with a mobile phone has not (yet?) arrived.

Curriculum Vitae

The author has studied statistical physics, fluid- and thermodynamis at Hamburg and Boston University and graduated with a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics in Boston 1993. Since then he has collected work experience in modeling chemical engineering problems and teaching (Paris, Stuttgart), building large atmospheric Doppler radars and sodars (sound radar) for meteorological research (Tübingen). He joined Fraunhofer IPM in 2006 and has since then taken part in the development of several laser scanner devices, learning about challenges, possibilities and fundamental limits in the process.