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Laser Developer's Discussions

Laser altimeter - new design

Started this discussion. Last reply by Amy Chen Oct 1, 2014. 49 Replies

Hi to everyone at DIY Drones!I don't know much about UAVs, my specialization is the design of laser products. I recently made a laser range finder by accident that might be useful in UAVs.It started…Continue


Laser Developer's Page

Latest Activity

Laser Developer commented on Chris Anderson's blog post Ion drive drone -- NO moving parts!
"Freaking awesome! Having seen what the Dawn mission did with an ion drive this is fantastic technology for the future even if it's only used in space."
Nov 21
Laser Developer commented on Simon D. Levy's blog post Hackhawk: Hacking the Altair Aerial Blackhawk with your own flight controller
"Very cool project. I wonder if "DIY" drone projects are becoming "hacker" drone projects where less fundamental research is involved in favor of re-engineering existing subsystems that are already tried and tested. The time comes…"
Nov 21
Pawel commented on Laser Developer's blog post DIY LiDAR scanner using the LW20 and a digital servo
"@laser developer. To be clear.  My intentions is to log readings. Im using i2C and want to log the readings. Im ussing Devantech i2c as stated and proposed in manual. Connection is okej, limited commands i2c test are working on terminal. Im…"
Sep 4
Laser Developer commented on Laser Developer's blog post DIY LiDAR scanner using the LW20 and a digital servo
"Hi Pawel, The LW20 has the same functionality on serial and I2C but the Terminal app doesn't support all the I2C features - just a test function only. This is because a PC don't have native I2C connectivity so a third party USB to I2C…"
Sep 4
Pawel commented on Laser Developer's blog post DIY LiDAR scanner using the LW20 and a digital servo
"Do the termimal provided by lightware and LW20 software have tge same funcionlity on I2C and Serial laser interface ? Is it possible to log laser RAW readings, distances, via I2C interface on a PC ? I need to log two LW20 readings on I2C bus…"
Sep 4
Laser Developer replied to James tate's discussion Connecting a Lightware SF30B to a Pixhawk
"@James Tate: The blue analog wire of the SF30B will connect directly to the ADC of a PixHawk. If you need more info please contact LightWare is still very much in business and is currently doing a major upgrade to all its…"
Jul 1
Laser Developer commented on Nadia Nilsen's blog post LightWare launches the LW20 LiDAR
"@Onno - We have made good progress with this so if you are interested in running tests for us please contact and give Tracy some idea of your application and ask her to add you to the demo list ;)."
May 22
Tom in NOVA commented on Laser Developer's blog post The SF11/C laser altimeter - awesome performance for $249
"Version 1.1 of the firmware does not have the "long range" option available and I will be using this as a rangefinder for an airrifle scope setup from 40-100m. .  Also it does not have the signal strength showing in the terminal…"
Mar 12
Laser Developer commented on Laser Developer's blog post The SF11/C laser altimeter - awesome performance for $249
"At the moment the SF11/C has no firmware update capability unless it is returned to the factory. The changes from Version 1.1 to 1.21 are minor and probably will not affect the performance in any noticeable way. "
Mar 12
Tom in NOVA commented on Laser Developer's blog post The SF11/C laser altimeter - awesome performance for $249
"I have an SF11/C (120m) rangefinder/altimeter with firmware Version 1.1.     Does it need to be updated?   I noticed mention of Version 1.21 in the manual , but cannot find any…"
Mar 12
Laser Developer replied to Tom in NOVA's discussion LE-032 700m Laser RangeFinder vs LightWare SF11/C questions
"Without having all the details - neither product is suitable for wind speed and direction measurement. They both use time-of-flight laser technology but have very different timing systems. 'Scope type laser range finders offer long range, slow…"
Mar 9
Laser Developer replied to iSkyMaster's discussion LiDAR for Pixhawk "or" for dummies? in the group PIXHAWK
"There is very little detailed information available on how a LiDAR works at the electronic and signal processing levels. Most companies that make LiDARs keep their designs private. High level overviews on how a specific LiDAR performs are available…"
Feb 21
Laser Developer replied to iSkyMaster's discussion LiDAR for Pixhawk "or" for dummies? in the group PIXHAWK
"My apologies for being brief. It looks like you are in the process of collecting information. Perhaps these will help: This product is a scanning LiDAR sensor that integrates with the PixHawk FC for sense-and-avoid. This product is a laser…"
Feb 19
Laser Developer replied to iSkyMaster's discussion LiDAR for Pixhawk or for dummies? in the group PIXHAWK
"You might find some more information here."
Feb 18
Laser Developer commented on Alex Williams's blog post Open source underwater glider
Oct 15, 2017
Laser Developer replied to Khushal B's discussion Collision avoidance sensors for flying in dense forest
"@Khushal B - LiDAR systems can work at close and far range equally well. We test the SF40 down at 1m and it is still within spec. Below 1m the accuracy may deteriorate slightly but it still gives useable results. The issue of FOV is always a tricky…"
Oct 8, 2017

Profile Information

About Me:
Specialist engineer designing laser range finders
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
Laser altimeters and automatic landing sensors

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Laser Developer's Blog

A step closer to miniature, survey grade LiDAR

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 12:19am 6 Comments

What is the difference between a low cost, hobby grade LiDAR and a much more expensive survey grade LiDAR? The short answer is that there are lots of differences. So the challenge becomes figuring out how to use the latest technology to achieve survey grade performance in a small, low cost…


DIY LiDAR scanner using the LW20 and a digital servo

Posted on February 20, 2017 at 6:23am 17 Comments

Making a small, low cost laser scanner for sense-and-avoid applications has been a objective of mine for several years. What makes this project challenging is the cost and complexity associated with motors and their drivers to provide the motion, position encoders to provide accurate aiming…


LW20 LiDAR - half the size, twice the performance, infinitely better.

Posted on October 4, 2016 at 1:56am 34 Comments

LightWare Optoelectronics is proud to share with you some preliminary data on their new miniature laser range finder modules, the LW20 and the SF20 OEM version. These modules will be available later this year and as part of our program of supporting the DIY market we will be offering the OEM…


Making connections between ArduPilot and laser altimeters easier

Posted on September 3, 2016 at 2:09am 5 Comments

We get lots of help requests from customers trying to configure the PixHawk and other flight controllers that are running ArduPilot software. The existing configuration interfaces, such as those found in Mission Planner, can be confusing, even for experienced users. We've introduced a "drone…


Comment Wall (4 comments)

At 4:22am on December 22, 2012, MarioT said…
It's a good idea for high precision flight and landing altitude.
At 5:29pm on January 15, 2014, Gary McCray said…

Hi LD,

Thank you for your considerate offer.

I think your device has very significant applications in what I am doing.

Please contact me at

I am very interested, but my primary interest is in using it for scanning for obstacles and openings.

The composite vision system I am currently working on extracts data from multiple (targeted) inputs and assembles it into an information matrix about the surroundings.

Most of the information I currently have available is short range < 10 meters. (structured light and laser scanner)

Your longer range device could provide a much needed extended look ahead capability.

It would be mounted on a pointable and scanable brushless gimbal.

In any case, please contact me at my above Email address.

Best Regards,


At 11:46pm on November 8, 2015, Dirk Gorissen said…

Hi LD,

Thanks for the kind offer. We are exploring the EMI system, but in any case it would be useful for the GPR based system (which has similar height control requirements). I cant say much about it yet but will post here when we've reached the next milestone.

If you are willing to provide one that would be great (ping me at and I will give due credit but no worries otherwise.

Thanks again


At 7:50am on November 13, 2015, Cala said…

Thank's Laser por compartir sus experiencias, me gusta ver las cosas nuevas, como se pueden aplicar en facilitar las tareas Agricolas, soy productora agropecuaria e ingeniera en produccion agropecuaria, si en algo le puedo aportar con mi opinion de usos en el sector no dude en comentarme.



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