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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Lidar technical question

so i just went by a state tropper parked on the right shoulder of 55 south by 80. nothing too unusual about that but as i'm coming up on him i notice the reflection of his lidar gun in the side mirror on his drivers door. is bouncing your laser off the side mirror an accepted and accurate method of clocking people?




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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:07 AM
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I highly doubt it. Id fight it in court. A mirror is a piece of glass with a reflective surface in back. It would have to a a "perfect system" not cause any variance. Plus there are issues of variance caused by angles. Not to mention the issue of how does he know he got the correct car. I'd fight that in court and probably win.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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I highly doubt it. Id fight it in court. A mirror is a piece of glass with a reflective surface in back. It would have to a a "perfect system" not cause any variance. Plus there are issues of variance caused by angles. Not to mention the issue of how does he know he got the correct car. I'd fight that in court and probably win.
Exactly thats what I was thinking. I work day in and day out with lasers and fiber optics, insertions loss's, refraction form an imperfect surface, angles, so many variables that I cant imagine that would hold up in court.




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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:31 AM
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Exactly thats what I was thinking. I work day in and day out with lasers and fiber optics, insertions loss's, refraction form an imperfect surface, angles, so many variables that I cant imagine that would hold up in court.
Do you know what all that would add up to?

I'm assuming someone has figured it out somewhere and even with all the imperfections, it might add up to almost nothing.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Do you know what all that would add up to?

I'm assuming someone has figured it out somewhere and even with all the imperfections, it might add up to almost nothing.
Thats actually the point, no one knows as the mirror surfaces have not been tested. Lidar works on measuring closing distance divided by the speed of light which if I remember correctly is 186000 Miles per second, (or slightly slower than my laptimes around blackhawk for reference)

Car mirrors are not perfect surfaces hence the disclaimer (objects in mirror....) printed on every one.




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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:40 AM
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not only are they not perfect surfaces, but even if they were and they were tested at one point, how do you accommodate for dust and dirt on it. Hell, even moisture on the mirror would skew the readings. They don't test for all those variables. i doubt they even test the mirrors.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:41 AM
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Car mirrors are not perfect surfaces hence the disclaimer (objects in mirror....) printed on every one.
That's only printed on convex mirrors though (passenger side)
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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That's only printed on convex mirrors though (passenger side)
Theres a reason police speedo's are labeled as calibrated for measuring speed. to prove it was done. Wondering if police mirrors, are labeled as calibrated for speed measurment.

You wouldnt believe what a microscopic piece of debris does to a laser. I can loose 10 DB easy to a piece of dirt I need a scope to see.




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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 11:21 AM
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If you are counting something small it may not be accurate but for MPH I am sure it is fine. It may even be a recommended way to use the thing.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 11:25 AM
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If you are counting something small it may not be accurate but for MPH I am sure it is fine. It may even be a recommended way to use the thing.
That's kind of what I was trying to say. I know the littlest things like moisture in the air and even bright halogen headlights will skew the readings, but if that skew is only .05 MPH, it won't really matter if you are going 15 over.

I tried searching google, but all I could find were threads like this one with nerds questioning it

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 12:51 PM
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I dunno, the lazer is taking 2 shots and comparing a geometrical difference.
I would hypothesize that the error would occur in both shots, with them being milliseconds apart, i believe it would still provide an accurate reading.

Maybe the officer was doing a scientific experiment.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 01:03 PM
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bounce off the mirror wont work, the guns need to shoot the target directly to get the laser bounce back to measure speed, if you bounce off the mirror then to target then back to mirror then to the gun the numbers will be quite skewed.

are you sure he was shooting thru the rear view mirror and not just shooting right ovber the top of it?

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 01:08 PM
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Was it raining? It was a hair dryer Tony...he was a metrosexual trooper. He prolly forgot his widebrim hat and got soaked.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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are you sure he was shooting thru the rear view mirror and not just shooting right ovber the top of it?
Possible but I sure had a good view of the front of it right in his mirror and he didnt have it out the window, he would have had to go through the windshield to be shooting oncoming traffic at his angle which I understand it also a no no.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 01:30 PM
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Tony....at one time the police were not allowed to shoot the laser thru glass! They couldn't use it in the rain, snow or fog. The Lidar was to be placed as close to 90 degrees as possible. But my info is at least 2 years out of date.

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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 05:46 PM
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Just confirmed with a former Traffic Officer and a current Traffic Sergeant that utilizing the sideview mirrors is acceptable for the LIDAR. I was told that it has been challenged in court and to their knowledge all challenges have been upheld in the officers' favor.

I have no specific knowledge on this, I'm just passing it along for information to you all.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 06:15 PM
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Just confirmed with a former Traffic Officer and a current Traffic Sergeant that utilizing the sideview mirrors is acceptable for the LIDAR. I was told that it has been challenged in court and to their knowledge all challenges have been upheld in the officers' favor.

I have no specific knowledge on this, I'm just passing it along for information to you all.
That's logical. As long as they get a lock, it should be very accurate. Dust and distortion should just diffuse the beam and reduce the strength, not change how fast it hits and returns.

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 06:37 PM
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Just confirmed with a former Traffic Officer and a current Traffic Sergeant that utilizing the sideview mirrors is acceptable for the LIDAR. I was told that it has been challenged in court and to their knowledge all challenges have been upheld in the officers' favor.

I have no specific knowledge on this, I'm just passing it along for information to you all.
That is what I thought.

Don't you think the company that makes these things field tests them all sorts of ways?

If it was not accurate they would lose all sorts of contracts.

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 06:38 PM
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Tony, goto court and bust out the science kit for an "in house" demonstration

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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 06:41 PM
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I will not get into the physics, convex/concave property of mirrors and type of resolution needed for the radar system to work...

Plain and simple; It works, we testify to it, we are trained in it, and it is very legal and upholding in court.

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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I will not get into the physics, convex/concave property of mirrors and type of resolution needed for the radar system to work...

Plain and simple; It works, we testify to it, we are trained in it, and it is very legal and upholding in court.
Works for me. You and Jen know your shit.




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