I want to measure two or more distances between two or more sensors and a truck-trailer front face in an outdoors (night/day, rain/shine) environment. I've been looking at the different types of sensors, but I still am having trouble deciding between ultrasonic, IR, lidar, and time of flight sensors. For example, I read that infrared sensors are not good in outdoor situations, but also read that you can find filters that will mitigate this problem. I want some tips or advice on which option I should lean towards for reliability and accuracy in an outdoors environment, at ranges of around 2-5 m. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
You can ideally use any or all the above mentioned sensors for the task you have in mind. Ultrasonics, RADAR and LiDAR are commonly used sensors for this purpose. Each sensor has its own merits and if you want to operate them in varying conditions you will have to account for sensor uncertainty. To be robust, you should use more than just the one sensor and run it through a kalman filter type estimator.