Startup raises funds for lidar development

December 20, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Startup Blackmore Sensors and Analytics Inc. (Bozeman, Montana) has raised a Series A round of funding worth $3.5 million to develop its frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar engine.

The company, founded in 2015, has also received funding in the form of a two-year contract from the Rapid Innovation Fund to enhance its HRS-3D-PS lidar for use by the US Army for force protection and surveillance missions.

CEO Randy Reibel said the funding would allow Blackmore to begin manufacturing its lidar using semiconductor processes thereby reducing cost. He added that Blackmore plans to deliver prototype automotive lidar and deployable surveillance systems using a semiconductor-based lidar engine in mid-2017.

The funding round was led by Next Frontier Capital and Millennium Technology Value Partners.

Blackmore's HRS-3D surveillance lidar combines long-range sensing with software processing to provide real-time mapping and situational awareness to its surveillance customers. The heart of this sensor – the FMCW lidar engine – functions more like a radar system than the conventional pulsed laser 3D imaging technologies currently on the market.

"The Blackmore team has decades-long expertise in developing high sensitivity lidar technologies for the defense industry," said Sam Schwerin , managing partner at Millennium.

The Blackmore system also has advanced features, such as single-photon sensitivity and the ability to measure the range and speed of an object at the same time.

"Unlike other startups in this field, Blackmore's lidars are operable right now and are producing data that meet the exacting standards required by the autonomous vehicle industry," he added.

www.blackmoreinc.com