Magazine Article

Apparatus and Technique for Measuring Distance Between Axles




An optoelectronic apparatus and a technique for its operation have been developed to facilitate and accelerate the measurement of distances of the order of tens of feet to within error limits of about ±1/8 in. (about 3 mm). In the original application, the distance to be measured [≈ 66 ft (≈20 m)] is that between the axes of rotation of the front and rear tires of the space shuttle orbiter as it rests in a ground-based processing facility. Previously, this distance was determined in a tedious procedure that involved measurements of component horizontal distances between floor points found by dropping plumb bobs. (This distance is used, along with other measurements, to locate the center of gravity of the orbiter.) The apparatus and technique could also be used for similar purposes in other settings; for example, to measure perpendicular distances between wall frames in situations in which tape measures cannot be used, to establish fence lines, or to lay out football grids.

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"Apparatus and Technique for Measuring Distance Between Axles," Mobility Engineering, March 1, 2000.
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Mar 1, 2000
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Magazine Article