Jan Niklas Caspers, PhD
Future lidar sensors for self-driving cars
'"You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere." - Lee Iacocca
I studied physics at the Karlsruhe institute of Technology and then did a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Toronto. After sucessfully defending my thesis on photonic integrated circuits I joined Bosch Research in 2014 to develop new MEMS gyroscopes designs and architectures. However, I quickly realized that my PhD work has relevant applications for Bosch and started working on possible applications of photonic integrated circuits for Bosch. Today I am using my optics background to lead a project on future Lidar sensors for automotive. Lidar sensors allow cars to see the world around them in 3D with very high accuracy and resolution.
- Development Engineer & Project Leader, Robert Bosch GmbH
- PhD in electrical Engineering, University of Toronto
- Physics Diploma, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Yepez et al. (2019)Novel Measures for Thermal Management of Silicon Photonic Optical Phased Arrays
- P. A. K. Yepez, U. Scholz, J. N. Caspers and A. Zimmermann
- IEEE Photonics Journal, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 1-15
- Doi: 10.1109/JPHOT.2019.2925138
Caspers et al. (2012)Compact hybrid plasmonic polarization rotator
- J. Caspers, M. Alam, and M. Mojahedi
- Opt. Lett. 37(22), 4615-4617
Caspers et al. (2013)Experimental demonstration of an integrated hybrid plasmonic polarization rotator
- J. Caspers, J. Aitchison, and M. Mojahedi
- Opt. Lett. 38(20), 4054-4057
Ashour et al. (2019)Bi-Junction Carrier Depletion Type Electro-Optic Phase-Shifters
- M. Ashour, S. Schneider, E. Weig, and J. Caspers
- 2019 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe and European Quantum Electronics Conference, OSA Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2019), paper ck_3_4
Interview with Jan Niklas Caspers, PhD
Senior project leader automotive light detection and ranging
Please tell us what fascinates you most about research.
Every day we learn something new about this world and the universe, being part of this and pushing the frontier of knowledge forward every day by a little bit is very exciting. Especially when one can not only learn about new things, but can work on bringing this knowledge to application.
What makes research done at Bosch so special?
The large network of expertise not only in the specific domain, but also along the whole system chain. I can easily pick up the phone to talk to the people who will use our sensor to better understand their needs.
What research topics are you currently working on at Bosch?
I am working on the Lidar sensor for automated driving. Besides the radar and camera, Lidar sensors are the way the car can see the environment and understand it in order to plan a safe path in it. Today Lidar sensors are very expensive and are large, they are the things that look a bit like rotating flower pots. We are looking into new ways to make these sensors much more compact and to reduce the cost significantly.
What are the biggest scientific challenges in your field of research?
The photonics community is still in its infancy, especially compared to the electronics community with their well established CMOS process or thousands of printed circuit board suppliers. This means that while there are still a lot of freedoms, it also means the ecosystems of services are only starting and not many tasks can be outsourced. Or it can be hard to find the one supplier that can actually help you. While the situation is continously improving, it still has a long way to go to allow for large scale production.
How do the results of your research become part of solutions "Invented for life"?
Making automotive sensors affordable and compact to bring safe automated driving to everybody.