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1. How does the 3D laser radar (3DLR) work?

The 3D Laser Radar emits pulsed laser light to scan the detection area.
Based on the TOF (Time-of-Flight) principal, the time taken for the emitted laser light to return to its point of origin determines the distance between an obstacle and the 3D Laser Radar head.
It then measures the (X, Y, Z) coordinates of every individual point scanned.
Calculation of this scan data creates a real-time 3D profile including size, location and velocity in less than a second.

2. Does the 3DLR use radio waves? Does is cause any electromagnetic interference?

It does not use radio waves to detect obstacles.
Therefore it will not cause any electromagnetic interference.

3. Will the detection capabilities be hindered by rain or snow?

Using IHI's unique noise elimination software, the 3DLR is programmed to eliminate objects which are not considered obstacle detection targets such as snow fall or heavy rain. Therefore customers in areas of consistently heavy snowfall are also able to use the 3DLR.

4. Does the 3D Laser Radar's laser pose any health threats to humans such as risk of damage to eyes?

The laser used by the 3D Laser Radar is classified as a Class 1(the safest level) Laser product by the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS C 6802) and it poses no threat to the human body.

5. Why is the 3DLR used at many level crossings?

The 3DLR is capable of monitoring the whole of a desired area and detecting the obstacles present within it with, in most cases, just one system.
There are no blind spots within the level crossing detection area so it is a system which provides a higher level of safety. Furthermore, the 3DLR is placed outside of the track-clearance area making the device more accessible for maintenance. This sets it apart from other methods of obstacle detection on the market.

6. Please state the differences between 3DLR and other methods of obstacle detection system such as loop coil, conventional 1D detectors and millimeter wave.

Inductive- Loop detection system accurately detects objects made of large quantities of metal such as vehicles as they enter a level crossing and cause an increase in the inductiveness of the loop-coils imbedded under the level crossing surface. It's detection performance is not affected by environmental factors. However, as it has to be installed under the level crossing surface train operation is disturbed during setup and maintenance.
Conventional 1D obstacle detection systems detect an object when the beam of light is cut off by an obstacle remaining within the closed level crossing. It is cost efficient and has a simple mechanism meaning it is more stable than other systems. However, it cannot create a profile of the obstacle being detected and further there are blind spots in is detection area.
Millimeter wave detection systems detect the presence of an obstacle based on the scan results of the millimeter wave. It has high detection performance and is relatively unaffected by environmental conditions. However, it is unable to create a 3D profile of an obstacle. There are also cases of over-detection near the level crossing barriers.

7. How long does it take to set up the 3DLR?

The overall set-up including the installation of the 3DLR's hardware and configuration of its software, takes approximately 4 hour - 8 hours.
Once the operator is familiar with the software program, software set-up and configuration can take around 30 mins.

8. What's the power usage of the 3DLR?

The wattage is below 100W (current desktop PCs use approximately 50W).

9. Are there other applications of the 3DLR besides a detection sensor at level crossings?

Research is underway to develop ways to assist automated driving systems with the 3DLR. Further the 3DLR is also already contributing to the improvement of road safety as an obstacle detection sensor within the highway infrastructure system.
The 3DLR detects pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles that are in potential blind spots for the diver of the vehicle at an intersection to prevent traffic accidents.

10. What future applications of the 3DLR are currently being considered?

Currently IHI is considering developing the 3DLR for use as a sea-traffic monitoring and human-flow monitoring system.
Sea-traffic monitoring would be aimed at preventing collisions between vessels going in and out of a channel in the sea.
Human-flow monitoring would utilizes the 3DLR's ability to calculate the direction of a moving object thus enabling monitoring of individuals in a crowd.
We envision one utilization of this function could be as a counter-terror measures.