Sharp GP2Y0A51SK0F Analog Distance Sensor

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Sharp GP2Y0A51SK0F Analog Distance Sensor 2-15cm

Pololu item #: 2450

The GP2Y0A51SK0F is the shortest-range Sharp analog distance sensor we carry, featuring a detection range of 0.8″ to 6″ (2 cm to 15 cm). The shorter range gives you higher resolution measurements, and the low minimum detection distance makes this sensor great for detecting very close objects. The distance is indicated by an analog voltage, making this sensor very easy to use.


Size: 1.06″ × 0.52″ × 0.56″
Weight: 2.7 g

General specifications

Maximum range: 15 cm
Minimum range: 2 cm
Sampling rate: 60 Hz
Minimum operating voltage: 4.5 V
Maximum operating voltage: 5.5 V
Supply current: 12 mA
Output type: analog voltage
Output voltage differential: 1.65 V


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, making this an adjustable-threshold alternative to digital Sharp sensors. The detection range of this version is approximately 2 cm to 15 cm (0.8″ to 6″).

The GP2Y0A51 uses a 1.5mm-pitch 3-pin JST ZH connector that works with our 3-pin JST ZH-style cable (not included).

The wire color scheme matches the Sharp distance sensor pinout: red for power, black for ground, and white for signal.

It is also possible to solder three wires to the sensor where the connector pins are mounted, as shown in the picture to the right (you should probably add some hot glue for strain relief as a final step; this is not show in the picture because it would obscure the soldering). Because of the narrow pitch, it helps to have a fine-tipped soldering iron, and you should be very careful not to accidentally short two pins together with your wires or any added solder. When looking at the front of the sensor, the three connections are, from left to right, power (Vcc), ground, and the output signal (Vo).

Feature summary

  • – Operating voltage: 4.5 V to 5.5 V
  • – Average current consumption: 12 mA (note: this sensor draws current in large, short bursts, and the manufacturer recommends putting a 10 µF capacitor or larger across power and ground close to the sensor to stabilize the power supply line)
  • – Distance measuring range: 2 cm to 15 cm (0.8″ to 6″)
  • – Output type: analog voltage
  • – Output voltage differential over distance range: 1.65 V (typical)
  • – Update period: 16.5 ± 4 ms
  • – Size: 27 mm × 13.2 mm × 14.2 mm (1.06″ × 0.52″ × 0.56″)
  • – Weight: 2.7 g (0.10 oz)

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 GP2Y0A51SK0F datasheet (312k 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).

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