MaxBotix for landing flare?

I’ve searched ArduPilot and RCG for information on LIDAR, range finders, MaxBotix etc., and am curious if anyone is using any of the ~$40 MaxBotix sensors for enabling accurate landing flares. From what I can see online, I2C seems better than analog, and MB1202: I2CXL-MaxSonar-EZ0 seems like the best device for basic landing detection. My ideal application here is landing 3+ meter gliders at slow near-stall speed, for either a smooth belly landing, or possibly a hand catch. If landing behavior was linear, predictable, stable, etc, I could see going for the hand catch at the moment of a flare ~1 meter AGL. The MaxBotix literature talks about noise isolation, both electrical and acoustic. I was envisioning embedding the sensor in the wing, away from EMI, motor noise, etc. Welcome any thoughts on this.

I’ve researched the more expensive range finders, and am not too interested in spending hundreds of USD on this enhancement to ArduPlane landings.


I hope you post your findings here. I’m very interested if you can make it work.

Will keep you posted. I am torn between the $40 Maxbotix and the $150 Lidar-Lite v3. The latter is clearly a better product, works from greater altitude, possible use for terrain mapping down the road, and the documentation looks solid, but at 3x+ the price, exploring the Maxbotix makes some sense for a basic landing aid.


Terrain follow (mapping) with lidar is currently not supported in plane, only in copter. I have no idea why, but this is tha case.
You can only do terrain follow with data from goggle maps.

I am curious on your results with the 40 bucks item. We use 300usd lidar on the planes (130m range). It helps landing precision a lot.