LightWare Optoelectronics (Pty) Ltd is pleased to announce that the SF30/C high speed laser sensor is now available for pre-order. This lightweight (35g) LRF uses time-of-flight technology to detect obstacles as far away as 120m at the astonishing speed of 4000 readings per second.

The SF30/C offers both a serial port and an analog output allowing the end user to choose between a high speed communication protocol or a much simpler analog comparator circuit to recognize the presence of obstacles within a predetermined distance. As with all LightWare products there is also a USB configuration port for entering settings and testing the unit.

Designed for fixed wing and 'copter platforms, the SF30/C can be used in a single or multiple unit configuration, or added to a gimbal, servo or stepper platform to form a scanning LIDAR. It has been optimized for fast measurement so with a resolution of 0.25m it nicely compliments the SF10 precision altimeters already available from LightWare.

The SF30/C is currently undergoing final testing and certification and will be available to the public from May 2015 at a price of US$850.00 (excl. shipping and duties).

Thank you to everyone at DIYDRONES who contributed to the design of this product through your critical feedback and practical suggestions. Please contact Tracy at info@lightware.co.za if you are interested in this product.

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  • Well... have to commend the customer service from light ware. It got to Australia in 3 Days!


  • Randy, Laser developer,

    Thanks for that - always good to have expert advice. We have ordered the SF10 and will let you know how we get on with it.

  • Developer


    Because the interface is apparently the same (i.e. an analog voltage), I'm pretty sure it will work but you'll need to set the RNGFND_SCALING to be "36.36" (instead of "12.12" for the SF02) to properly scale the input.

  • Tridge has tested compatibility here (the SF02 and SF10 have the same interfaces): http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/lidar-landing-with-apm-plane

    You can speak to Gisela and Joe about flight time here: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blog/show?id=705844%3ABlogPost%3A1741358

  • Laser developer Prehaps you could reassure me on the compatability with Arduplane code and Pixhawk hardware.

    We will get the SF10 and see how we find it.

    Also we will need to do a little bit of paper work as this will be installed on a machine under an Aviation Authority Certification. Do you or any testers have any actual logged time in flight with this?

    Thanks for the time to help us with this.

  • Randy, I have been speaking with Laser Developer on his post over the FS10 version of this device.

    Is your understanding that this will integrate with a pixhawk it the same way as on the  wiki page here showing how to hitch up the SF02?

  • @Arthur, product specifications usually fall into one of three categories - military, industrial or commercial with military having the most rigorous requirements and commercial the least. The price of suitable components depends on the category with mil-spec parts sometimes costing 10 times the commercial equivalent. On this scale, the SF30 falls into the industrial category for operating temperature range and mil-spec for things like EMI.

  • Developer

    Great to see this is coming soon!

    The SF02 is a really great range finder so if it's anything like as reliable as that one it's sure to be good.

    Rob Lefebvre, Leonard, Julien and I are poking away at making an object avoidance feature and looks like it would be a good fit.

  • Is that product "commercial grade" or not ?

  • Hi Laser developer, I wasn't actually trying to suggest that this product is overpriced, it is, in fact a tremendous breakthrough and is very inexpensive for the capabilities offered.

    In fact, I think it has sufficient capability to make a very significant impact on the high end hobby and all levels of commercial UAS in the future.

    4000hz is very difficult to achieve with a TOF system and at 120 meters I am sure you are actually nearing the limit of what is achievable even at the speed of light without starting to run into major problems with reflections from the previous laser pulses.

    And I am sure this rangefinder can be put into great use in a scanned forward looking obstacle detection system on general aviation aircraft.

    Best Regards,


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