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Automatic Runway Profile Measuring Instrumentation And Runway Properties. Part I: Equipment

Report Number: WADD TR 60-470 Part I
Author: Turner, D. F.
Author: Brown, R. S.
Author: Snyder, W. E.
Corporate Author: Midwest Research Institute
Laboratory: Flight Dynamics Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1961-02
Pages: 38
Contract: AF 33(616)-6512
Project: 1367
Task: 13451
PB Number: PB171998
AD Number: AD0266895

An instrumentation system was developed which rapidly measures and records the elevation of the runway. Profile data are recorded in a form which can be used directly by existent data processing facilities at WADD.

The system consists of two parts, the collimator which projects a highly collimated light beam down the runway, and a profilometer equipped with a photoelectric sensor. As the profilometer is towed, the sensor is held centered on the light beam by a servo system. A simple direct drive introduces the profile variations between the surface and the sensor position into a shaft-position-to-digital encoder. The output of the encoder is punched on paper tape.

Accuracy and repeatability tests show that the profile instrumentation system is capable of accuracies which are well within runway data requirements.

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