LSA Autonomy Enhances MDARS Obstacle Detection

Westminster, MD — Land Sea Air Autonomy LLC (LSA Autonomy), a leading autonomous vehicle technology company, has integrated advanced object detection algorithms with the Mobile Detection Assessment and Response System (MDARS). As part of a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program with the U.S. Army RDECOM CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD), LSA Autonomy developed advanced algorithms for Lidar-based detection of partially obscured roadside hazards. In addition to identifying roadside hazards, the algorithms also excel at detecting obstacles that would impede an off-road self-driving vehicle. The technology transfer from the NVESD SBIR to the Joint Product Manager, Force Protection Systems (JPM-FPS) MDARS vehicle culminated in a successful self-driving vehicle autonomy demonstration to U.S. Army CERDEC, JPM-FPS, and other stakeholders in April 2014.

About Lidar

Lidar is a sensing technology that measures distance to objects by emitting a laser pulse and measuring the time to its reflection. The algorithms LSA Autonomy developed for NVESD analyze Lidar range and intensity measurements to separate solid objects from vegetation. Self-driving vehicles use this information to make better decisions, enabling them to increase their operational capabilities in off-road environments.


The JPM-FPS MDARS is an unmanned ground vehicle that provides automated situational awareness in support of force protection and physical security of forward operating bases and storage depots. In 2012, LSA Autonomy produced the second generation MDARS using a commercial platform, leveraging an open systems architecture, and off-the-shelf sensors. This approach enables significant savings in production and cost of ownership, while increasing both reliability and maintainability.

About LSA Autonomy

LSA Autonomy is dedicated to providing affordable autonomous solutions through innovative applications in sensors and technology. The company’s expertise is based on a diverse background in design and integration of rugged robotic platforms operated in extreme environments from outer space to land to under sea. LSA Autonomy specializes in complex, safety-critical system design and sensor processing, and is driven to make these systems reliable, sustainable, and affordable throughout their life cycles. More information about LSA Autonomy can be found at