Estimation of uncertainty in three-dimensional coordinate measurement by comparison with calibrated points

J.E. Muelaner, Z. Wang, O. Martin, J. Jamshidi, P.G. Maropoulos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper details a method of estimating the uncertainty of dimensional measurement for a three-dimensional coordinate measurement machine. An experimental procedure was developed to compare three-dimensional coordinate measurements with calibrated reference points. The reference standard used to calibrate these reference points was a fringe counting interferometer with a multilateration-like technique employed to establish three-dimensional coordinates. This is an extension of the established technique of comparing measured lengths with calibrated lengths. Specifically a distributed coordinate measurement device was tested which consisted of a network of Rotary-Laser Automatic Theodolites (R-LATs), this system is known commercially as indoor GPS (iGPS). The method was found to be practical and was used to estimate that the uncertainty of measurement for the basic iGPS system is approximately 1 mm at a 95% confidence level throughout a measurement volume of approximately 10 m × 10 m × 1.5 m. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number025106
    Number of pages9
    JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2010

    Bibliographical note

    © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

    Results given in this paper were obtained using the original Workspace software and a typical 4 transmitter setup. Further testing has shown that uncertainty may be reduced by using newer software versions, and more complicated configurations with more hardware.


    • CMM
    • coordinate measuring machine
    • coordinate uncertainty
    • IGPS
    • indoor GPS
    • spatial analyzer
    • USMN


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