Rangefinders (landing page)

Copter/Plane/Rover support a number of different rangefinders including Lidars (which use lasers or infra-red beams for distance measurements), 360 degree Lidars (which can detect obstacles in multiple directions) and Sonars (which use ultrasonic sound). This category also includes Maxbotix Sonar and Pulsed Light LED range finders. These devices can be used for measuring distance near to the ground for precision landings and altitude control, water depth, or object distance as proximity sensors for Object Avoidance. Vision systems (see Intel RealSense Depth Camera) can also be used for Object Avoidance.

A forward facing rangefinders can also be used for Obstacle Avoidance. See Rangefinder Setup Overview to know more.


Downward facing rangefinders are automatically used in flight modes which have height control, such as Altitude Hold, Loiter and PosHold Mode. The data from the sensor will be used until you exceed RNGFNDx_MAX_CM, after that it switches to the barometer.

Copter includes support for Terrain Following in Auto mode.

Copter can also use rangefinders for Object Avoidance.


RNGFNDx_MAX_CM must be set to a tested, appropriate value. If RNGFNDx_MAX_CM is set to a value greater than the range of the sensor, the autopilot will not respond correctly to the data provided.

Follow the links below (or in sidebar) for configuration information based upon your set-up.


Unidirectional Rangefinders

Omnidirectional Proximity Rangefinders

Vision Based Sensors