UAV Ultrasonic Sensors for Indoor or Outdoor Drones

UAVEasily complete your application with our UAV Sensors.

“What goes up, must come down.” One of the biggest considerations for how much time a UAV spends in the air is weight. This means that every ounce affects the UAV. We design our UAV ultrasonic sensors to be high performance, small, compact, low-cost, easy-to-use and lightweight. Our recommended ultrasonic sensors for drones weigh approximately 5.8 grams.


What is more fun: Flying a UAV autonomously or coding how to read an ultrasonic sensor?

We took the complicated integration out so that you can add cool features to your UAV such as GPS navigation and cameras for aerial photography.   Our sensors include multiple outputs for simple integration. Our interfaces include Analog Voltage, Pulse Width, Serial Data, and I2C. Many popular modules, including the APM 2.6, already have sensor libraries for faster integration.

Simple and Reliable Interface

Our free-running operation simplifies user code and setup. Our UAV ultrasonic sensors are designed to be low-cost so users can implement several ultrasonic sensors onto a single airframe. This gives the UAV a wider field of view using the data output from the ultrasonic sensors. Customer satisfaction is our first priority — including product selection, design, development, ordering, shipping, and technical support. Ordering is easy through our online store or customers can purchase from one of our many distributors worldwide. MaxBotix Inc. offers hundreds of easy-to-use ultrasonic distance sensors across 18 product lines.


Low-Cost, Easy-to-Use UAV Ultrasonic Sensors


MaxBotix’s state-of-the-art UAV ultrasonic sensors are proven to give you the best results and value for your UAV and a wide variety of applications. Below are some of the benefits our UAV ultrasonic sensors have to offer:

  • Resolution of 1 cm
  • 42kHz ultrasonic sensor measures distance to objects
  • RoHS Compliant
  • Operates from 3.0-5.5V
  • Maximum Range of 765 cm (300 inches) or 1068 cm (420 inches)
  • Real-time automatic calibration (voltage, humidity, ambient noise)
  • Read from 3 of 4 select sensor outputs: Analog Voltage, Serial, Pulse Width
  • Small, lightweight module
  • Virtually no dead zone, objects closer than 20 cm range as 20 cm
  • Designed for easy integration into your project or product
  • Operational Temperature from -40˚C to +70˚C (-40˚F to +160˚F)
  • Firmware filtering for better noise tolerance and clutter rejection
  • 200,000+ Hours Mean Time Between Failure

Ultrasonic sensors emit sound waves which then travel through air and reflects through the object which is then received by the receiver. The total traveling time is then recorded, and with that,  you can calculate the actual distance between the sensor and the object, in this case, the ground or other obstacles.

Most UAVs use the ultrasonic sensors on the bottom of the drone for detecting ground and also for use in terrain-following.

Drone proximity sensors assist with anti-collision, which will aid towards fewer crashes.  It is easy to fly your UAV or drone into obstacles when losing concentration or control.  

Autonomous applications will rely heavily on obstacle avoidance and anti-collision as they are developed and adopted in many industries.

Amazon recently received the patent to drop packages at your home and Matternet is using drones to make autonomous deliveries of medical materials.  


Arducopter Altitude Hold with Maxbotix Sonar

This video shows how arducopter keeps its altitude over the terrain with a Maxbotix Sonar.


Using UAV Ultrasonic Sensors on a Multi-Copter

MaxBotix Inc., engineers have written a full evaluation that covers correct sensor mounting and installation. The best MaxSonar UAV ultrasonic sensors were identified in the evaluation and recommended. This tutorial is designed to help you understand the key elements in building a successful Multi-Copter. Elements such as air turbulence, propeller acoustic noise, grounding, and power, conducted electrical noise, radiated electrical noise and frame vibration.


Ultrasonic Sensor Operation on a UAV

Ultrasonic Sensor Operation on a UAV

MaxBotix sensors have been successfully used on a number of UAVs. A UAV can also be called a multi‑copter, rotorcraft, quadrotor helicopter, or a quadcopter. Many users have had issues getting the sensors to operate reliably. During flight, it is challenging for an ultrasonic sensor to operate reliably. The most obvious issue is the amount of wind turbulence the ultrasonic wave must travel through. Adding to this acoustic noise is the sound the propellers generate…

View Tutorial


UAV Sensor Applications Include but aren’t limited to

  • Precision Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Pest Detection
  • Forestry
  • Mammal species tracking search and rescue
  • Target Tracking
  • Humanitarian Observations



UAV Ultrasonic Sensors - Measure Distance and Proximity
Article Name
UAV Ultrasonic Sensors - Measure Distance and Proximity
MaxBotix’s state-of-the-art UAV ultrasonic sensors are proven to give you the best results and value for your UAV and a wide variety of applications.
Publisher Name
MaxBotix Inc.
Publisher Logo

MaxBotix Inc.

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