Portable co-ordinate measurement

With the benefit of new technology, UK team aims to break long-standing record

Posted on 19 Sep 2017 and read 565 times
Portable co-ordinate measurementDonald Campbell established a World Water Speed Record of 202.32mph in his jet-hydroplane Bluebird K7 in 1955, and the next two decades saw a succession of international teams achieving ever quicker speeds.

A record speed of 317.18mph was set by Australian Ken Warby in Spirit of Australia in 1978 — and it remains unbeaten.

Now, David Aldred has formed a team (including the British military pilot Lt David-John Gibbs RN as ‘driver’) with the aim of designing and building a new jet hydroplane — Longbow — to re-take the record.

Mr Aldred said: “A jet hydroplane is a gas-turbine-powered boat with a hull designed in such a way that when high speeds are achieved, the craft only has a few square inches of its surface in contact with the water, reducing hydrodynamic drag to a minimum.”

A major contributor to the Longbow project is Kevin Hardcastle, a design engineer and founder of Aximo Ltd — a product and mechanical design consultancy.

His expertise and considerable experience in a range of relevant 3-D CAD and CAE tools has been invaluable in assisting with the design of the craft; and to enable Mr Hardcastle to produce the required drawings for analysis of the driver cockpit from the ‘buck’ already fabricated, Manchester Metrology’s laser scanning services were enlisted.

The company’s Neil Blakeman used an Edge ScanArm HD from Faro Technologies UK Ltd (www.faro.com) to scan the driver’s tub and to capture the required data for conversion into a NURBS format.

Specialist measurement


Mr Blakeman said: “Manchester Metrology offers specialist sub-contract measurement services using the latest technology, and it provides support both in the UK and world-wide.

Given Longbow’s challenging accuracy requirements, we decided to use the Faro Edge ScanArm HD, which has an accuracy specification of ±25μm.

donaldThis equipment combines the flexibility and features of a Faro Edge measuring arm with the capabilities of a powerful contact/non-contact portable measurement system, making it ideal for applications such as Longbow; and because each of the team’s contributors have day jobs and give their time voluntarily, it was important to use a technology that could capture and process the required data quickly.”

The Faro Edge ScanArm HD uses a laser and ‘hard probes’ to inspect free-form surfaces to give rapid point-cloud collection with high levels of resolution and accuracy, without the need for ‘special coatings’ or target placement.

Meanwhile, the use of an extra-wide scan stripe of 2,000 actual points per scan line — plus a fast frame rate — reduces the scanning time. Meanwhile, a new ‘cross-hair feature’ and existing ‘LED Rangefinder‘ functionality dramatically reduce training time and provide real-time scanning feedback.

In conclusion, Mr Aldred said: “Although we have already made significant progress, the Longbow project is still in its design and prototype phase.

“As this foundation period is fundamental to the ultimate success of the project, the considerable expertise and hard work of Kevin Hardcastle have been invaluable.

“In addition, the much-appreciated assistance of Manchester Metrology and the company’s use of Faro’s Edge ScanArm HD have enabled the project to make another major leap forward.”

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