Sorry for the delayed response, I didn’t catch this when it was first posted.
When you say it’s caught in a timeout loop. Is that the message you’re getting on the TOP e.g. “Timeout for command” or is that just the behaviour? Have you checked the web interface when the sensor is in that condition, it can potentially give more detailed error information on the status page.
I believe when it says “pixel-aligned camera image” I think it’s just referring to what we call the “panoramic” image layout. The data is actually received in a staggered pattern based on the position of the lasers around the device, but the sensor provides offset information so that we can reformat the data into a cohesive image. That’s my guess at least since I can’t find any information in the software manual: https://data.ouster.io/downloads/software-user-manual/software-user-manual-v2.1.x.pdf
Regarding noise and NIR fields: it looks like Ouster changed what data was being sent when they updated the firmware and I didn’t catch that when I was doing the update.
In version 1 firmware, the noise field is just described in the manual as “ambient noise photons”, in version 2 firmware, the field is now described as “NIR photons related to natural environmental
illumination”. It sounds like they might be the same thing, but don’t know for sure. I’ll update the docs to clarify that.
Additionally, it looks like in the latest 2.1 firmware they’ve changed the reflectivity field from a 16 bit unsigned value to an 8 bit unsigned “calibrated reflectivity”. Fortunately, I think the TOP should still handle the new values correctly.