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 module to individual customers as well. The prices will be announced at the time of the official launch ;).


The LW20 and SF20 miniature laser rangefinders offer high performance in a very small form factor. The LW20 is a sealed unit designed to withstand water splashes and dust whilst the SF20 is a lightweight, open frame unit ideal for OEM integration. Both units can measure more than 100 m in sunlit conditions and can measure down to almost zero distance. These professional grade sensors take up to 678 readings per second and provide distances to both the first and last signals with each measurement. The laser beam is encoded so that units can be aimed at the same target without interfering with each other, enabling multiple redundancy and allowing for many UAVs to operate safely in the same area. Serial or I2C communications ports provide a comprehensive suite of commands and the unit can be switched into power saving mode when not in use. 


  • Very small size
  • Choose either a water and dust resistant unit (LW20) or a lightweight open frame module (SF20)
  • Weight of less than 10 g for the SF20 
  • Water and dust resistant to IP67 for the LW20
  • Long measuring range beyond 100 m
  • High speed readings up to 678 per second
  • First and last signals measured with each reading
  • Encoded laser pulses for multiple systems
  • Serial or I2C interfaces compatible with 3.3 V or 5 V systems
  • Low power consumption with power saving mode


  • Distance measurement
  • Laser altimeters for small or large UAVs
  • High reliability systems using redundant sensors
  • Scanning laser systems for mapping or obstacle sensing


Model number                                               LW20                  SF20
Maximum range [m / ft]                               110 / 360             110 / 360
Minimum range                                              ~ 0                      ~ 0
Maximum update rate [rps]                           678                      678
Resolution [cm]                                               1                          1
Accuracy [cm]                                                ±5                        ±5
Weight [g / oz]                                            20 / 0.7                 10 / 0.35
Dimensions [mm]                                      20 x 30 x 35          20 x 30 x 32
Housing material                                       Aluminium             open frame
IP rating                                                         IP67                       --
Operating temperature [C]                         -20 .. +60               -20 .. +60
Power supply [V]                                        5 ± 0.5                   5 ± 0.5
Operating / standby current [mA]              170 / 45                  170 / 45


1. Maximum range is measured against a stationary, large white target in full sunlight at 84 readings per second

2. Maximum operating temperature depends on suitable airflow or heat sink

LightWare Optoelectronics (Pty) Ltd  is an ISO9001 certified manufacturer of laser products for UAVs, industrial, aircraft and other applications. The attached information is subject to change without notice.

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  • Just found this discussion: https://discuss.ardupilot.org/t/lightware-lw20-ardupilot-support/15...

    LightWare LW20 ArduPilot Support
    Turns out I had my rx/tx wires swapped. I thought I had tried both combinations. Furthermore, my PC setup was busted; I had a 3.3v dongle and a 5v d…
  • I have two of these now, but am wondering if there are solutions for getting the dual return?  It will be associated with a drone payload and could be connected through a Pixhawk, or Navio2 (RaspPi), or directly through an RFD900 radio if possible.  I would rather not do any coding if possible, but could figure it out if necessary.  Anyone accomplished this yet?

  • @Jiro - Thanks very much for your interest in the LW20 :).

    Production of the LW20 has already started but the online store will always show the "backorder" status until the finished units are actually in stock. The time of the backorder will keep coming down as production gets closer to finishing and the "8 weeks" indicated at the moment is just the default for products that are not in stock.

    Once production is complete the units will be shipped according to the date of the order so the sooner you order, the sooner you will receive your LW20. At the current rate we will be sold out of our first production batch before the 8 weeks is up so it's probably not a good idea to wait before ordering otherwise you might need to wait again ;).

  • It is back order now. Should we wait another 8 weeks for that?

  • @Pascal P: It's a new website so you might need to refresh your browser a few times.

  • @Laser Developer : I can  not go to your link

  • @Valdur - Yes, the SF20 is also available for order but the website needs to be updated. I'll post here as soon as it shows up ;).

  • It is good news. Will SF20 also be available shortly?

  • Website is here:- LW20

  • @Fnoop - I can't say for certain until the official launch but right now it looks like the one-off retail price will be around the price of our entry level SF02 and SF10/A products.

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