Background: Recent studies show that the combined use of Large-Volume Metrology (LVM) systems can lead to a systematic reduction in measurement uncertainty and a better exploitation of the available equipment. Unfortunately, the sensors of a specific LVM system are usually able to localize only specific targets and not necessarily those related to other systems; this represents an obstacle when using combinations of different LVM systems.
Objective: This paper describes the design of a new modular probe, with different typologies of targets and integrated sensors, which allows to simplify the measurement process.
Method: The originality and inventive content of the proposed invention is documented by a literature review, from the dual perspective of scientific articles and patents. Next, a detailed description of the technical and functional characteristics of the probe is provided and a mathematical/statistical model for the real-time probe localization is presented.
Results: The probe is versatile as the number of targets, their typology and spatial position can be customized depending on the combination of LVM systems in use. Also, it can integrate additional sensors (such as two-axis inclinometer and compass), which contribute to the probe localization. The mathematical/statistical model for the real-time probe localization is efficient, as it is based on a system of linearized equations, and effective, as the equations are weighed with respect to their uncertainty contribution.
Conclusion: The new multi-target modular probe is potentially key tool to promote the combined use of LVM systems.