This paper highlights a ranging sensor that can be calibrated at standoffs of 1 to 3 feet with a depth of field of ≈ 1 ft. Tests at a 16" standoff have produced a 0.004 inch standard deviation in height measurement errors. The data density and field of view are programmable. The sensor is positioned robotically, allowing it to provide accurate, short-range measurements prior to manipulation tasks. The sensor head is relatively inexpensive (≈ $10k) and is designed for in situ calibration. This approach is intended to allow replacement components to be installed, calibrated, and validated without decontamination. Calibration, validation and data acquisition are all designed to be performed remotely and in a highly automated fashion. These in situ features of the design are targeted for the interest of industry with the aim of producing a sensor having a longer lifetime and a lower maintenance cost.


Engineering Science and Materials

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