AccuRange 4000 laser range finder

By Stephen Schaum Fall 2005 ITP Data Sheet summary.

This is a datasheet report only. This sensor has not yet been tested by anyone in the sensor workshop class as of Jan. 2006.

I chose this sensor because it could be used as a spatial scanner. Check out this paper(

Attach : AR4000_250px.jpeg?

Other interesting sensors and sites are:

Stereo vision cameras:
Wind sensors:
Cloud height sensors: [(http://)[]]
Spherical transducers for use in sonar:
Three-axis earth's magnetic field sensors:
Seismometer-build your own:
Ocean wave sensors:
Laser& color sensors:
Also another paper on range sensing (without optics)
Now, back to the AccuRange 4000:
The AR4000 is an optical distance measuring sensor with a range of 54 feet and an accuracy of 0.1 inches. It opporates by sending a collimnated laser beam to a target surface and from which it is sent back to the unit and collected by laser sensors inside. Distance is measured by the time it takes for the lasers to return to the rangefinder or "time-of-flight" principle. It translates this information with a patented range-to frequency conversion principle.The use of reflective tape increases the range.


Standard: RS-232 serial output.
Sensor data cables are ended with a DB-9 connector for use with a PC, and can be ordered with a current loop, RS-422, RS-485 or puse-width outputs.
ASCII -> Calibrated output: 3-6 bytes; CR,LF terminated?
this means that the sensor sends 3=6 bytes of data to represent the calibrated output, and finishes each reading with a carriage return (ASCII 13) and a linefeed (ASCII 10). Since it uses LF and CR, you can probably assume that the output value is also ASCII-encoded too. In other words, you're not getting a raw value, but a string of characters, e.g. "123.45". What's the range of the output, and in what units? -tigoe

The range of outputs:
Pulse Width Output Uncalibrated range output on power/signal cable (standard with HSIF board) 18 - 50000 Hz, 0.5V peak to peak square wave signal

Low-level Outputs (standard): Voltage outputs are 0-5 volt analog levels.

Low-level outputs: 9-24 bytes: CR,LF terminated
Binary Calibrated output: 3 bytes:FF terminated?
Low-level outputs: 8 bytes;FFF terminated

FF terminated means it uses an ASCII Form Feed character (ASCII 12) -tigoe

RS-232(standard) ->3000-38.4 K baud
Analog signals (optional);->4-20 mA current loop installed internally, configurable zero and set points.
Pulse Width Output:-> Uncalibrated range output on power/signal cable,
18-50000 Hz, 0.5V peak to peak square wave signal

Standard Cabling:

It comes with two cables: one for the power or signal the other for serial data.
Red-> Power +5v to +6v(400mA) (In)
Black-> Ground
Orange->Heater Power,+5 to +6V (4A) (In)
Brown-> Heater Return
Yellow-> Temperature (0-5V) (out)
Blue-> Pulse or Current (0-5v) (out)
Green-> Ambient Light (0-5V) (out)
Purple-> Amplitude (0-5V) (out)


A series of input configurations such as:
  1. enable/disable serial data output
  2. set baud rate
  3. set seial data output to ASCII or Binary
  4. Set analog Output between calibrated or uncalibrated
  5. Set min or max valid amplitude


Laser: 780nm,class IIIb
Range: 54ft. (16.5m)
Accuracy: 0.1in. (2.5mm)to 85% diffuse relectance?
Sensor principle: modulated beam, time-of-flight
laser power: 8mW
Sensor power: +5-6 V D.C.
Weight: 22oz.
Sample rates (max):
  • Serial output: 700 HZ
  • Analog Output:1000 Hz
  • High speed interface: 50,000 Hz
  • 0.2 samples/sec. or sample on request
And the price is last:$3495

So the question is how to get a lower price spatial scanning system with a similar range...Hack some range finding binoculars? Sonic imaging?