Morgan Hill, Calif.-based Velodyne Acoustics’s LiDAR division announced it has completed a major expansion of its manufacturing facilities to keep pace with exploding demand for its high definition LiDAR sensors. The increased demand is due to Velodyne’s recent multimillion dollar order from an international mapping customer as well as a heightened interest in autonomous vehicles, security and traditional laser scanning.

In 2011, Velodyne created the newer and much smaller HDL-32E, which is popular for mobile mapping applications where an unmatched amount of 3D data can be collected while driving at highway speeds.

“The HDL-32E was designed in response to customer requests for reductions in size and price compared to the original HDL-64E,” said David Hall, founder and CEO of Velodyne Acoustics. “The recent expansion in our state of the art clean room facilities is proof that we succeeded in satisfying our customers’ requests.”

The HDL-32E uses 32 rotating pairs of eye-safe IR-lasers and photodiode detectors. These help create a digital 3D map that reflects distance and calibrates reflectivity information within a circle of 150-180m diameter. The sensor rotates up to 20Hz and delivers more than 700,000 data points per second in a 40 degree vertical field of view. This map can be used to determine location, detect changes of stationary objects, and characterize moving objects with respect to path and speed.

“Velodyne’s experience in the design, manufacture and testing of complex LiDAR sensors allows us to scale up production smoothly and efficiently without interrupting customer shipments,” said Georg Ross, Velodyne’s director of operations. “Throughout the manufacturing cycle we’ve sought opportunities for continuous improvement to shorten cycle time, improve reliability and reduce costs. Proprietary laser alignment and calibration processes utilize the latest automation and robotics.”