Geo Week News

September 13, 2018

Ball Aerospace apparently makes Geiger-mode lidar, receives defense and aerospace manufacturing license from Argo AI

Ball Aerospace
A screengrab from Ball's Geiger-mode camera brochure

Geiger-mode and single-photon lidar have been hot topics in the large-area mapping space since their debut on the commercial market at ILMF in 2015. Since that day, there have been a few handovers, with Leica Geosystems’ parent company Hexagon buying single-photon lidar manufacturer SigmaSpace, and Ford’s subsidiary Argo AI snapping up Geiger-mode manufacturer Princeton Lightwave.

That trend continues this week as Argo AI “granted” Ball Aersopace its geiger-mode lidar manufacturing license for the US aerospace and defense industries. These Geiger-mode sensors, according to Ball, are a “a critical component to non-conventional imaging and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, which are used in U.S. Department of Defense, space and other government missions.”

Ball will manufacture three options of of “Geiger-mode cameras,” with “opportunities to expand upon existing technology to meet future customer needs.”

In a recently published brochure for its Geiger-mode sensors, Ball says the sensors will be available for government and commercial use in addition to defense and space applications. The brochure appears to indicate that Ball’s lidar will be available for purchase by users of Princeton Lightwave sensors need a replacement or upgrade. This could make Ball the only vendor of Geiger-mode lidar sensors on the market following Princeton Lightwave’s acquisition by Argo AI.

SPAR has reached out to Ball for a further explanation of its business model, but received no response as of this publication.

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