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Old 10-07-2011, 12:04 PM #49
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

Here is more info: link
And two pictures showing some sort of prototype which basically confirm what we already suspected: 405nm or 445nm laser diodes and remote phosphor to convert blue to white light.




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Old 10-07-2011, 02:50 PM #50
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

This is actually FAR better than i expected: I though they would put the laser die smack on top of the phosphor, but it seems they have developed the system such that the laser sits quite far away from the phosphor and beams onto it.

If they do the final version like this, it would be extremely easy to get the laser unit to work, just a matter of removing the phosphor and/or the mirror. Obviously it remains to be seen what qualities this laser will have - i'm still expecting a bigass multimode that will be hard to focus into a nice beam.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:17 PM #51
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

wait, so we are talking about a laser powered headlight? Isn't that like counterintuitive or something? Because if it isn't, I want to build a laser powered flashlight.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:02 PM #52
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

that looks sooo awesome... like the USS Enterprise ship from Startrek
so, who's gonna extract the diodes?
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:32 PM #53
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

methinks easier to get more power out of yag when you can mount it directly on some metal instead of having to mount it on some GaN, then that on SiC, then metal.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:31 AM #54
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

whut? That doesn't make sense...
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:49 PM #55
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

well I can't understand the whole idea behind that project...

anyone care to explain why do they need lasers to produce white spot light like from a LED? and aren't the vibrations in a vehicle too much for the lasers? ..
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:49 PM #56
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

When someone hit the headlights pretty well, it could change the laser beam color to violet or blue. Hmm, we have just to wait for crashes and there will be hundreds of headlights to harvest.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:04 AM #57
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

I guess the point of it is that the lasers 'pump' a fluorescent material that glows white under the laser light. Since this material is probably ceramic it can run pretty hot and therefor be quite small, like the filament of a lightbulb. This would allow a normal size reflector/lens system to create the headlight output pattern desired.

The advantage over incandescent would be efficiency and lamp life, and the advantage over HID would be a smaller emitting area, less shock sensitivity and longer lamp life.

A car would be a good environment for a solid state solution like this, since mechanical shock wouldnt wear down the components if properly constructed... while its an inherent problem for any sort of bulb lamp, incandescent or hid.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:23 AM #58
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

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Well, 100 Watts of electricity for your lights translates to a few grams of CO2/km. And the automotive industry has to meet pretty harsh CO2 limits in the future, so every single gram counts.
And yes, "white" laser light apparently has been done before, read here.
Cool article you linked to. The picture of the units is rad too. As a mechanic though, these things seem a little sketchy. I work on Harleys, but I was under the impression that BMWs were still used on roads, and roads aren't perfect surfaces. What happens when the mirrors directing the beams into the phospor get jostled and the beam misses its mark? This seems like it may be a little too complicated to be a good design. Then again, what do I know?
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:18 PM #59
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

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I guess the point of it is that the lasers 'pump' a fluorescent material that glows white under the laser light. Since this material is probably ceramic it can run pretty hot and therefor be quite small, like the filament of a lightbulb. This would allow a normal size reflector/lens system to create the headlight output pattern desired.

The advantage over incandescent would be efficiency and lamp life, and the advantage over HID would be a smaller emitting area, less shock sensitivity and longer lamp life.

A car would be a good environment for a solid state solution like this, since mechanical shock wouldnt wear down the components if properly constructed... while its an inherent problem for any sort of bulb lamp, incandescent or hid.
And the advantage over LED is better beam control. Remember, you would be imaging a plane, not a point, using the final projecting lens. It isn't completely about smaller emitting area, it's about making an emitting area with different brightnesses and a very particular shape, and then projecting that image onto the road surface. And because the YAG isn't mounted on top of the light-emitting semiconductor (be it LED or vcsel), it can be mounted directly on top of a heatsink.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:53 PM #60
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

I suppose that could be how it works too - light up a fairly uniform round spot and project the image using mirrors and/or lenses. With an incandescent this would produce a magnified image of the filament, but perhaps it works out well with a pumped phosphor disc.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:07 PM #61
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

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I suppose that could be how it works too - light up a fairly uniform round spot and project the image using mirrors and/or lenses. With an incandescent this would produce a magnified image of the filament, but perhaps it works out well with a pumped phosphor disc.
Actually, I was thinking of lighting up an area on the phosphor and imaging that onto the road. And not uniform, but exponentially distributed, brightest on the bottom (top after projection).

Let me see if I can illustrate better with a picture:
1st, thanks JVX for this beamshot:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1.../DSC_3950h.jpg

That is the output of an OEM HID automotive headlamp from an RX350. Note the lux distribution, especially towards the top, close to the glare cutoff. This pattern, when projected onto a horizontal plane, results in a very even appearing light distribution on the road.

Now imagine scanning that , using the lasers and mems, onto an area of phosphor, and then using an asphere to project the image on that surface out the front. When the BMW's computer detects another car inside the beam area, it can dim just that spot in the beam pattern by changing how the laser scans on the phosphor, i.e. skipping that spot or going over it a bit faster or something like that.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:49 AM #62
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

I dont see any kind of scanning mechanism in the drawings, but it would be cool to have something like that... highbeams at full power but masking out other cars that could be bothered by their output. If they can make that, i'd certainly want to have it
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:51 PM #63
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

It appears that they have really pulled it off. It will be an option in the new i8. Here is an interesting article about it: link
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:51 AM #64
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Default Re: BMW to develop Laser Headlights

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Hehe.. i guess you could just buy replacement headlight units - those must become available since the headlights are likely to break in even a minor accident with any car. I wonder what the price will be though
Probably very overpriced because it's BMW
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