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Optical Metrology System Improves Alignment of Military Vehicle Performance


Generally, the problem arises in the modern light armored tracked vehicles which travel at fast speeds, it is essential that the track drive shaft bearings are in good alignment condition and the track suspension rollers are parallel to each other and which are aligned square to the drive axis. Failure in the alignment causes excessive wear and vibration, breakage of the track and damage to the vehicle. These kinds of errors are identified only on the testing ground when considerable dismantling must be carried out before the error can be fixed.


Taylor Hobson have designed and manufactured its micro alignment telescope optical metrology system which can be used for checking the alignment at the beginning of manufacture, as soon as the position of bores has been machined in the hull.


A high resolution CCD system with software automatically senses the centre position of the dedicated CCD targets then calculates of displacement from a set datum to ensure a fast set up time with repeatable readings, as well as digitally outputting the result.  This is particularly useful on large alignment projects since a single operator can make measurements and adjustments along the structure while the target is displayed on the monitor.

In the case of tracked vehicles an optical square on the end of the telescope bridges a right angle line of sight down the side of the hull. The faces of the track suspension bores are verified for distance from this line by sighting on a scale and then the height of the bores with respect to the main track drive shafts is checked. The optical system offers the following functionality:

  • Clear digital output of X and Y minimizes operator error

  • Graphical output for reporting & storage of results

  • Repeatability of measurement provided by CCD

  • Rapid calculation of results for quick and easy assessment

  • Typical accuracies: 5µm over 3m (decreasing with distance)

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY METROLOGY.COM ON APRIL 20, 2020.