A comparison of two distributed large-volume measurement systems: the mobile spatial co-ordinate measuring system and the indoor global positioning system

D A Maisano, Jafar Jamshidi, F Franceschini, Paul G Maropoulos, L Mastrogiacomo, Antony R Mileham, Geraint W Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in the area of industrial metrology have generated new technologies that are capable of measuring components with complex geometry and large dimensions. However, no standard or best-practice guides are available for the majority of such systems. Therefore, these new systems require appropriate testing and verification in order for the users to understand their full potential prior to their deployment in a real manufacturing environment. This is a crucial stage, especially when more than one system can be used for a specific measurement task. In this paper, two relatively new large-volume measurement systems, the mobile spatial co-ordinate measuring system (MScMS) and the indoor global positioning system (iGPS), are reviewed. These two systems utilize different technologies: the MScMS is based on ultrasound and radiofrequency signal transmission and the iGPS uses laser technology. Both systems have components with small dimensions that are distributed around the measuring area to form a network of sensors allowing rapid dimensional measurements to be performed in relation to large-size objects, with typical dimensions of several decametres. The portability, reconfigurability, and ease of installation make these systems attractive for many industries that manufacture large-scale products. In this paper, the major technical aspects of the two systems are briefly described and compared. Initial results of the tests performed to establish the repeatability and reproducibility of these systems are also presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-521
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009
Event4th International Conference on Digital Enterprise Technology - Bath, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Sep 200721 Sep 2007



  • large-scale metrology
  • distance measurements
  • dimensional measurement
  • metrological performance
  • indoor GPS
  • mobile measuring system

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