In the field of laser rangefinders, the choice between single and multi-pulse technology is a decision that can greatly impact the performance of a system. In the past, we also faced the challenge of evaluating the optimal laser rangefinder for our systems and we would like to share with you the reasons why we decided for the multi-pulse technology.
For decades we have been utilizing the multi-pulse measuring technology due to the tangible benefits it provides for our military end users. In addition, we have further optimized the multi-pulse technology resulting in our current capability to measure an extraordinary range of up to 30km with the support of our state-of-the-art fiber laser technology.
A closer look at multi-pulse technology
The essence of the distinction lies in the name itself. Single pulse LRFs send out a single laser pulse that bounces off the target to measure the distance. In contrast, multi-pulse laser rangefinders shoot out a significant number of laser pulses, each lasting only a fraction of a second. In simpler terms, they take thousands of measurements to calculate one single distance. Consider this analogy and think of an opinion poll. Asking just one person yields a single perspective, potentially distant from reality. Conversely, asking thousands of people provides a more reliable reflection of the truth. Similarly, a multi-pulse LRF extracts distance information from a multitude of ultra-short measurement reflections, ensuring accuracy and reliability. This is where clever algorithms play an important role in distinguishing genuine reflections from a real target from ambient noise reflections.
Performance optimization due to adjustments to environmental conditions
Multi-pulse LRFs have another big advantage: They are able to adjust during the measurement phase to environmental conditions to give optimal performance. As a significant number of pulses are generated for one distance measurement, a few pulses at the beginning of each measurement check the environmental situation and adjust the transmitter and receiver accordingly. Whether enhancing sensitivity for distant non-reflective targets or minimizing for close reflective objects, multi-pulse technology offers the flexibility that single pulse lasers lack, as the measurement uses only one pulse.
Long-range measuring in combination with fiber laser technology
Multi-pulse technology is often used in combination with diode lasers for measuring shorter distances and the development of long-range multi-pulse diode lasers is a real challenge. We were able to solve this challenge with our fiber laser technology, which is capable of generating a powerful multi-pulse laser with enough high peak power to accurately measure long distances. Our LRF 7047, weighing just 460g, exemplifies this as it provides 1m-accurate measurements up to 30km.
Continuous measurement 24/7 without any pauses
Unlike the single pulse counterparts, multi-pulse lasers operate only with low current peaks, ensuring consistent 24/7 performance without a break or pause. This continuous operation, combined with the absence of cooling phases, is highly beneficial for applications such as long-term tracking. In addition, all Ultisense LRFs are maintenance-free solutions that stand up to the test of time.
Enhanced target hit probability
In situations involving a highly dynamic environment with moving targets, air turbulence, or hand jitter, hitting the target can become a challenge – especially with only one single shot from a single pulse rangefinder. With multiple pulses the situation is improved, as some pulses will very likely hit the target and reveal the target distance. For the highest dynamic environments, such as drone detection, we also utilise a larger laser divergence such as in our counter drone module LRF 6742.
For us the multi-pulse measurement technology is not just a trend; it is an innovation path to further increase the performance of our laser rangefinders. With the ability to optimize measurements through sophisticated software algorithms, it is a choice that aligns ideally with our core knowledge. And in the future, we will continue to advance the multi-pulse technology.