Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Chen, Xiang


Camera, Coverage, Field sensor, Flash LiDAR, Mechanical LiDAR, Optimization




This thesis proposes a solution to the problem of modeling and optimizing the field sensor network in terms of the coverage performance. The term field sensor is referred to a class of sensors which can detect the regions in 2D/3D spaces through non-contact measurements. The most widely used field sensors include cameras, LiDAR, ultrasonic sensor, and RADAR, etc. The key challenge in the applications of field sensor networks, such as area coverage, is to develop an effective performance measure, which has to involve both sensor and environment parameters. The nature of space distribution in the case of the field sensor incurs a great deal of difficulties for such development and, hence, poses it as a very interesting research problem. Therefore, to tackle this problem, several attempts have been made in the literature. However, they have failed to address a comprehensive and applicable approach to distinctive types of field sensors (in 3D), as only coverage of a particular sensor is usually addressed at the time. In addition, no coverage model has been proposed yet for some types of field sensors such as LiDAR sensors. In this dissertation, a coverage model is obtained for the field sensors based on the transformation of sensor and task parameters into the sensor geometric model. By providing a mathematical description of the sensor’s sensing region, a performance measure is introduced which characterizes the closeness between a single sensor and target configurations. In this regard, the first contribution is developing an Infinity norm based measure which describes the target distance to the closure of the sensing region expressed by an area-based approach. The second contribution can be geometrically interpreted as mapping the sensor’s sensing region to an n-ball using a homeomorphism map and developing a performance measure. The third contribution is introducing the measurement principle and establishing the coverage model for the class of solid-state (flash) LiDAR sensors. The fourth contribution is point density analysis and developing the coverage model for the class of mechanical (prism rotating mechanism) LiDAR sensors. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed coverage model is illustrated by simulations, experiments, and comparisons is carried out throughout the dissertation. This coverage model is a powerful tool as it applies to the variety of field sensors.