Suitable rangefinder

I’m looking for a rangefinder sensor that can respond up to about 7 or 10 meters. I think tfmini plus is good, but I’m not sure it works well in sunlight.
If you know something suitable for the outdoor environment, introduce it. About 10…70$

Good day, ive done some tests with the tf mini S and it works well…, you can try also the teraranger evo 60m…, just consider that sun is always a problem for all rangefindera.
All my rangefinder work on a canbus…

Hi, Thanks dear Dave
What do you suggest for the 360 degree lidar? rplidar a3 works well under sunlight?

No, I don’t think so… the sunlight will affect all lidar, even the 20K$ one. and the wiki said do not set the rangerfind as the alitude source unless you are fly indoor.

I used rplidar a2 under the sunlight and got into trouble.
But it is said that Lidar a3 works better in outdoors, has anyone tested it?

See this video (4K), mentioned here. It is a zig-zag mission, in sunlight (july in Spain), over dry grass. Waypoints alternate 60/80cm high.

Terrain on the far waypoints from the camera is slightly elevated (may be around 1m).

Rangefinders are TFmini and I2CXL-MaxSonar-EZ4.

Note ROI waypoint forgotten after hitting grass.

As previously said and confirmed also by XiChengGe, all lidars suffer too much sunlight. About the 360 degree lidar… you have to check and power it with an alternative power source.

Thanks for your reply,
Do you think a sensor like tfmini plus is better or should we use another sensor? Or are two sensors suitable for the problem you mentioned?
Thank you also @Dave84

Tf mini lidars are for short range… if you need long distance rangefinders you need to check for TF02 or TF03 or the teraranger sensors…, many are tested for the outdoor flight but all sensos when there is too much sunlight they will saturate… in few words all sensors suffer the too much sunlight

That’s right, even sonars?

Sonars work in a different way, and you don’t have many options about sonars

Judge from the video above if that can be got with barometer and GPS alone.

These are the rangefinders separated:

so on this particular situation the TFmini performs better than the I2CXL-MaxSonar-EZ4.

In theory, possibly if at a particular point the signal on one rangefinder is bad (spikes above), on the other one it may be good, but I don’t know if the software selects the best or not.

Good day, I2CXL-MaxSonar-EZ4 its already out of date and it’s analog, tf mini (i don’t know your version) its more recent and its infrared…, I2CXL-MaxSonar-EZ4 and tf mini work in a different way.
If you are using a lidar i suggest you power it with an alternative power source… you can use 3A 5.0 V.
take a look in my video 1

For rangefinder I would go for the TF02. I never had any problem with it under sunlight. For 360 lidar I would choose the rplidar S1, much lighter than the A3. I also like the new lightware SF45.

Thanks, I will probably get a tfmini plus sensor for altitude and an rplidar a3/s1 for the proximity.

What rangefinder sensors do you recommend for agricultural drones? Has anyone tested tfmini plus or tf02 for this? Because there are water droplets under the drone. On the other hand, performance in sunlight is also important.

Tf mini is suitable for short range while Tf02 perform well on long distances.
The sunlight will affect all rangefinders…

Right, Do water droplets have a significant effect on performance?

small drops of water will not affect the reading also bcoz during the flight the air flow will dry it…, of course if it will be too much the reading will be problematic

Hi All,

Just want to add to the conversation. We have a couple of LiDAR’s from LightWare that work in bright sunlight conditions, they are also compatible with ArduPilot.

Check them out here :

Please feel free to inbox me at if you need any further information.