Multi-Echo Denoising in Adverse Weather

Alvari Seppänen, Risto Ojala, Kari Tammi

Adverse weather can cause noise to light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. This is a problem since it is used in many outdoor applications, e.g. object detection and mapping. We propose the task of multi-echo denoising, where the goal is to pick the echo that represents the objects of interest and discard other echoes. Thus, the idea is to pick points from alternative echoes that are not available in standard strongest echo point clouds due to the noise. In an intuitive sense, we are trying to see through the adverse weather. To achieve this goal, we propose a novel self-supervised deep learning method and the characteristics similarity regularization method to boost its performance. Based on extensive experiments on a semi-synthetic dataset, our method achieves superior performance compared to the state-of-the-art in self-supervised adverse weather denoising (23% improvement). Moreover, the experiments with a real multi-echo adverse weather dataset prove the efficacy of multi-echo denoising. Our work enables more reliable point cloud acquisition in adverse weather and thus promises safer autonomous driving and driving assistance systems in such conditions. The code is available at https://github.com/alvariseppanen/SMEDNet

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