The GP2Y0A02 is the longest-range optical distance sensor we carry, featuring a detection range of 8″ to 60″ (20 cm to 150 cm). The high maximum detection distance makes this sensor a viable alternative to sonar in some applications. The distance is indicated by an analog voltage, making this sensor very easy to use.
The Sharp distance sensors are a popular choice for many projects that require accurate distance measurements. This IR sensor is more economical than sonar rangefinders, yet it provides much better performance than other IR alternatives. Interfacing to most microcontrollers is straightforward: the single analog output can be connected to an analog-to-digital converter for taking distance measurements, or the output can be connected to a comparator for threshold detection. The detection range of this version is approximately 20 cm to 150 cm (8″ to 60″); a plot of distance versus output voltage is shown below.
The GP2Y0A02 uses a 3-pin JST connector that works with our 3-pin JST cables for Sharp distance sensors (not included) as shown in the top picture on the right. It is also simple to solder three wires to the sensor where the connector pins are mounted (see the lower picture to the right). When looking at the back, the three connections from left to right are power, ground, and the output signal.
Linearizing the output
The relationship between the sensor’s output voltage and the inverse of the measured distance is approximately linear over the sensor’s usable range. The GP2Y0A02YK datasheet (703k pdf) contains a plot of analog output voltage as a function of the inverse of distance to a reflective object. You can use this plot to convert the sensor output voltage to an approximate distance by constructing a best-fit line that relates the inverse of the output voltage (V) to distance (cm).
Alternative Sharp Distance Sensors
We have a variety of Sharp distance sensors to choose from. The closest alternative to this GP2Y0A02YK0F module is the newer Sharp GP2Y0A60SZ analog distance sensor (10 – 150 cm), which has the same maximum sensing distance but offers a lower minimum detection distance and more than twice the sampling rate in a much smaller package:
We also carry two shorter-range versions of this sensor: the Sharp GP2Y0A41SK0F analog distance sensor (4 – 30 cm) and the Sharp GP2Y0A21YK0F analog distance sensor (10 – 80 cm). These two analog distance sensors have identical packages and pin-outs, making it easy to swap one version for another should your application requirements change.
For short-range detection applications, we carry three digital Sharp distance sensors that have low minimum detection distances and a high 400 Hz update rate. They are available with a 5 cm, 10 cm, or 15 cm range and simply tell you if something is in their detection range, not how far away it is. They are smaller than the analog Sharp distance sensors and draw less current.
Note: The GP2Y0A02YK0F model is a lead-free (RoHS-compliant) version of the Sharp GP2Y0A02 Distance Sensor. The manufacturer recommends you insert a bypass capacitor of 10 uF or more between Vcc and GND near this sensor to stabilize your power supply line.
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