200 meters in the bright African sun

LightWare is delighted to launch our new long range microLiDAR™. The SF30/D is ideal for altitude management above 400 feet. Each SF30/D is range tested in the bright African sun to ensure super performance in the hands of our customers.

The SF30/D laser measurement sensor provides real time, accurate altitude (AGL) measurements for UAVs. The lightweight 36 gram design features a time-of-flight range up to 200 meters (656 feet), and an update rate up to 20K readings per second. Typical applications: The SF30/D is ArduPilot compatible, and laser Class 1M eye safe.

Now in stock: LightWare SF30/D


Do you provide one that is tested with the “bright Scandinavian sun, and snow”?
I mean, our sun might be brighter, especially with all the snow beneath. :slight_smile:
I would like to have/do a clear comparator to the good old 20/C


Hi Andre,

This is a very good question. Unfortunately we do not have the bright Scandinavian sun and snow here in sunny South Africa :see_no_evil:, however, I can say we have tested the device quite vigorously. when it is calibrated it is done against a variety of targets, one of which is a highly reflective surface. The SF30/D has better optics and a higher power laser, but it is also built on a similar backbone as the 20C. I would be interested to see how it works in your application. :grinning:

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How will its performance over water compare with the SF11-C’s?

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Hi Don,

We are in the process of getting data back from over water tests to develop some algorithms for over water applications. We believe that once we have sufficient data that the unit will have more stability than the SF11/C over water.


Thank you, Mohit. We have SF11s on about 30 aircraft, most of which are flown over water. With tweaks, they’re pretty reliable over water at lower altitudes, but we would welcome being able to use them at longer distances and, of course, with fewer tweaks.

Hi Don,

A member from our team has contacted you. looking forward to hearing from you.


With all the testing you’ve done, how does the SF30/D connect to Cube Orange? I need to connect via the I2C port but this does not seem to work.

Are there specific connectivity requirements? ie only analog, or serial, but never I2C??


Hi Leftless,

Yes it is possible to connect the SF30/D via I2C, I have attached a connection document, all that is required to connect the sensor to the I2C port is to pre-configure the communication mode to “full communication mode” on the sensor. This can be done via LightWare Studio.
SF30 Pixhawk Cube connection guide.pdf (469.0 KB)

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email @ support@lightwarelidar.com , and I will be more than happy to assist.

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I had a look at the doc. The text is a bit out of date but did the trick.

I verified the following Cube settings after setting the device to “Legacy data output-> Output type (legacy) → Full communication mode” using the LightWare Studio software.


Works like a charm



The one SF30D (facing down) works well as an altimeter. Is it possible to connect a second unit facing forward for obstacle avoidance?

If possible, how would I configure the forward-facing unit in Ardupilot?


Hi @Leftless , It is possible to use it for obstacle avoidance, in order to do so, you would need to change the update rate, I would suggest 312 readings/s for the update rate. Then the parameters in ArduPilot need to be adjusted as follows:
RNGFND!_ORINT : 0:Forward 1:Forward-Right 2:Right 3:Back-Right 4:Back 5:Back-Left 6:Left
RNG_MIN_CM : user defined
RNG_MAX_CM : user defined