I'd like to present a brief overview of ArduPilot support for the LightWare LW20/SF20.
The LW20 is LightWare's next generation small form factor and lightweight rangefinder solution for drones. The multitude of operational features (signal stats, low power mode, full servo driven 2D scanning, and more) have been exposed through an open source C based cross-platform API. ArduPilot continues to be a flight controller we are interested in supporting and as such we have integrated the LW20 API.
(Showing an SF20 - open case version of the LW20 - connected to a Pixhawk via Serial)
Here is an example of the extended capabilities of the LW20 on the Pixhawk:
The above graph shows two different signal pulses detected per distance reading. The red line represents the first distance detected, while the green line represents the last distance detected. This can happen when the laser is able to hit multiple targets, for example, if you are looking down at a bush. The first detection could be from the leaves and the last detection could be from the ground beneath.
We hope that over time the full range of LW20 capabilities will have functional use within ArduPilot, but for now we have built the framework for exposing the functionality and providing a base to work from.
Please feel free to contact me for early release versions of the LW20 ArduPilot firmware or C API.