Defense

May 29, 2012

New 3-D scanner makes impact at Eglin

Tags:
by Minty Knighton
Eglin AFB, Fla.

An image of an F-15 from SEEK EAGLE’s 3D scanner currently in use at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

When the 46th Test Wing’s Air Force SEEK EAGLE Office purchased a 3-D laser scanner system six months ago, they had no idea how much of an impact this system would make.

“This is state of the art,” said Mark Hillman, lead engineer at the SEEK EAGLE. “We are breaking ground for the military.”

The approximately $150,000 Leica HDS 7000 3-D laser scanner and Rapidform reverse engineering software program was purchased to quickly build accurate digital models of Air Force aircraft and weapons for use in aircraft-weapon compatibility analyses.

“Before, we had to implement the real tests to determine how capable a system would be,” said Paul Collins, lead contract engineer for SEEK EAGLE. “Now we build models for use in simulated test environments for a good indication of the outcome, before we go into actual testing, which can save hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

After one month of trial scans, they were able to use it to quickly scan an entire aircraft.

“Four years ago, it took six people two weeks to manually collect 3-D data for the A-10 aircraft,” said Collins. “With the laser scanner, two people can collect the same amount of data in two days, a 93 percent reduction.”

Additionally, the accuracy of the laser is +/- 0.01. Using the manual method, the accuracy was at best +/- 0.03, according to Collins.

The data collection process involves positioning the scanner at various positions around the airplane. The scanner automatically sweeps a laser beam across the aircraft to generate a 3-D point cloud.

“Any areas where good data is not collected, such as shadows, are depicted as black holes in the scanner software requiring the scanner to be re-positioned for optimal results”, said Collins.

After scanning an aircraft, SEEK EAGLE engineers use Rapidform reverse engineering software and the 3-D point clouds to construct solid digital models.

“Improvements in using Rapidform to construct the solid models from the scanned data have been significant”, said Collins.

The SEEK EAGLE engineering team didn’t go into this venture lightly. They started with requirements from the entire Air Force SEEK EAGLE Office and did an in-depth comparative analysis of the viable systems before choosing their current combination of hardware and software. Overall, the scanner and software has reduced their costs by about 75 percent.

Word of the success and benefits of the system spread to others.

“Other military services have started contacting us to use the system,” said Collins. “Two weeks ago, we scanned 13 Navy aircraft in eight days.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs August 18, 2014

New U.S. strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign. U.S. Central Command says a combination of bombers, fighter jets, attack planes and unmanned drones hit targets near Iraq’s largest dam...
 
 

Headlines August 18, 2014

News NATO would respond militarily to Crimea-style infiltration: general If Russia tries to infiltrate troops into a NATO country, even out of official military uniform as it did before it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, NATO will respond militarily, the alliance’s top commander said in an interview published Aug. 17. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/17/us-ukraine-crisis-breedlove-i...
 
 

U.S. Navy to test, evaluate Lockheed Martin industrial exoskeletons

Lockheed Martin has received a contract through the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences for the U.S. Navy to evaluate and test two FORTIS exoskeletons. This marks the first procurement of Lockheed Martin’s exoskeletons for industrial use. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The FORTIS exoskeleton is an unpowered, lightweight exoskeleton that increases an operator’s...
 

 

Orbital completes third cargo delivery mission to ISS

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced Aug. 18 the successful completion of its third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the past 10 months, including the initial demonstration flight completed in October 2013 and the first two operational missions under the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply...
 
 

Brown extends tax credit to Northrop Grumman

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that extends a $420 million state tax credit to aerospace giant Northrop Grumman after approving a similar deal for its competitor, Lockheed Martin. Brown’s office announced Aug. 15 that he signed SB718 by Sens. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, and Sen. Stephen Knight, R-Palmdale. It expands an aerospace tax credit...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Sean Martin

Bomber crews showcase take-off talents

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_8qr7ojpWg&feature=player_embedded Air Force photograph by SSgt. Sean Martin A B-52H Stratofortress starts its engines during a Minimum Interval Takeoff on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Au...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>