MAGLEV, Inc. Chooses Leica's New Laser Radar System for U.S. Office of Naval Research Grant for Precision Fabrication of Large Steel Structural Curved Plate Beam Components

Source: Leica Geosystems
Switzerland - August, 2002 - The Metrology Division of Leica Geosystems announced today its new to-the-market LR200 Laser Radar has been purchased by MAGLEV, Inc. (MLI) for the use in the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) Project entitled "Precision Fabrication of Large Steel Structural Curved Plate Beam Components for Shipbuilding and Other Industries." This collaborative endeavor between MAGLEV (Monroeville, PA) and ONR provides the research and testing groundwork to perform weld distortion analysis for the manufacture of highly accurate large curved beams. The LR200 laser radar, the first non-contact measurement device to combine radar, laser and 3D software technologies, will be used to monitor dynamic material surface conditions during and after the weld process.

One of the project's tasks was to identify and benchmark available technology in the industrial metrology market, including Class II Green lasers, laser tracking technology, and photogrammetry. The Leica Laser Radar was introduced to the metrology market near the end of the benchmarking phase, and presented a revolutionary new process using coherent wave technology applied to the frequency of infrared laser. The system allows for single point-to-point measurements, similar to a laser tracker, but provides the ability to scan surfaces reflectorless like a green laser. Because the technology was new, MAGLEV requested the Precision Survey Group at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to test the instrument and analyze the results. The LR200 performed well within the needs of MAGLEV to accurately detect minute plate distortions and larger weldment movements.

Laser Radar Leica LR200, non-contact measuring device for large-scale mobile scanning on any surface.

This precision instrument provides scan rates up to 1000 points per second at distances up to 48 meters with accuracy up to 20 microns. Based on user requirements, the LR200 can be deployed on its own or integrated into an automated robotic system. These attributes are necessary for successful monitoring of large weldment features during fit-up, welding and as-built tasks. This laser radar system will enable the shipbuilding and structural industries, as well as other manufacturing-related trades, to perform inspections of large components for both feature-fit and surface deformations achieving accuracy and efficiency unrivaled in the scanner marketplace.

The results of this research and development project, as well as the laser radar technology, could also be applicable to the high profile U.S. MAGLEV initiative for an alternative high-speed rail system. This project focuses on the development of an elevated monorail carrying high-speed magnetically levitated vehicles at speeds up to 240 mph. For more information on MAGLEV, visit

The Metrology Division of Leica Geosystems manufactures Laser Trackers, Theodolites, and other leading-edge products that set metrology standards in the aerospace, automotive and general engineering industries for more than a decade.

Source: Leica Geosystems