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Laser rangefinder

Laser rangefinder


A laser rangefinder is a rangefinder which uses a laser beam to determine the distance to an object. The most common methode of the distant measurement is time of flight principle by measuring the time from sending a laser pulse towards the object and to returning back to the sender.

Pulsed laser diodes and detectors (PIN-PD, APD, MPPC) from Hamamatsu have been in use in the Laser rangefinder.


Parameter MPPC® APD PIN photodiode
Range Long Middle Short
Accuracy High High High
Readout circuit Simple Complex Complex
Operation voltage to several tens of V 100 to 200 V to 10 V
Gain 105 10 to 100 1
Temperature sensitivity Middle High Low
Response time Fast Medium Medium
Ambient light immunity Medium Medium High
Array Suitable Suitable Suitable
Gap Narrow Wide Wide
Uniformity Good Depends on the size Good

Recommended products

Si photodiode

Basic detector for range finder. Suitable for short range measurement and high ambient light condition.
Lower cost and lower voltage operation are appealing.S13773 has sensitivity from visible to 1100nm and high speed response 500MHz. JEDEC level : 2a.


APD can measure longer distance than PIN-PD, and have high sensitivity at 900 nm.
Its series APD w/ a band-pass filter preventing background light is also available. It improves measurement distance and accuracy.


MPPC is a device having multiple APD pixels operating in Geiger mode.
Its excellent sensitivity which can detect extremely weak light at photon counting level is suitable for long range measurement.


These LDs feature high peak power under 905 nm pulsed operation.
Various types are available with different peak output power and emission widths.

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