Assessing the performance of a laser rangefinder (LRF) for a particular application depends on influencing factors such as weather conditions, target characteristics, and repetition rates greater than 1 Hz.
Weather conditions affect range performance and they are usually specified with the parameter “visibility” alongside a measurement range. “Visibility” is defined as the distance at which an object or light can be clearly discerned (Wikipedia. Com). We typically specify a visibility of 25 km on our datasheets, representing clear and standard weather conditions.
It’s worth noting that specifications for the maximum measuring range can differ among companies. Some define a feasible and empirically tested range under optimal conditions, while others specify the maximum range, which is solely determined by the LRF’s counting electronics, which might not align with real-world measuring situations.
For range performance, the target’s properties play a crucial role as they determine how effectively the laser beam is reflected back from the target. Key factors are the size of the target and its reflectivity. It’s important to note that NATO targets adhere to established standards, characterized by a size of 2.3 x 2.3 meters with a reflectivity of 30 %. When NATO ranges are specified, these standardized targets are commonly used. However, only visibility is not standardized and can vary between different companies.
Tracking: Continuous Measurement at higher frequencies
Repetition rate also has a modest impact on performance. For higher frequencies the measurement time is shortened and due to eye safety the amount of laser pulses is limited. A repetition rate of 10 Hz for example, reduces the range performance by approximately 20 %. However, the significant advantage of higher frequency outweighs this, as it allows compensation in the event that one measurement fails to detect the target, as subsequent measurements can compensate for this. In the context of object tracking, such as drone tracking, repetition rates of 10 – 15 Hz are sufficient (we also offer higher repetition rates upon request). In particular, continuous measurement is especially crucial when tracking moving objects such as drones, where interruptions are undesirable. Our LRF technology supports uninterrupted 24/7 measurement.