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Crash Deformation Analysis with ProCAM Optical Measurement System

  Optical metrology systems provide a significant advance in measurement capability for crash test facilities.  These systems are fast, and provide results that document all test results in accordance with regulatory requirements.  Optical measurement systems can incorporate multiple cameras, which makes it possible to observe and measure multiple points at the same time.  Probes with optical targets are used to provide additional information required by test protocols.

Real-Time Positioning of Crash Dummies

Free Motion Head Testing

  Crash barrier tests, side impact tests, and roll-over tests require pre-crash and post-crash measurement of a large number of points located anywhere on the vehicle.  With the ProCam optical measurement system, data is collected with a hand held probe pre-crash and post-crash.  A selection of probe tips and extensions makes it possible to reach into all areas of the vehicle including the engine compartment and passenger areas.


  The deformation of the crash vehicle is analyzed with a number of measuring points. Typical tests will require several hundred measuring points which are located inside and underneath the vehicle, on the car body, and in the engine compartment.

ProCAM Measuring Plan

  The points to be measured are organized in a structured measuring plan.  The measuring plan is linked to overview screens which immediately inform the operator about the position of the measuring point on the vehicle. The points already measured are identified in the tree structure in order to provide an overview of the progress of the measurement.

Measuring with ProCAM

  The test vehicle is placed in the measurement area.  Most test facilities set up several measurement locations, and move the ProCam systems to the area where the next vehicle is being prepared.  The test vehicles can be placed anywhere in the measurement cell. 

  The operator begins the measurement by locating reference points on the vehicle. The ProCam Crash software permits an alignment with a variable number of points and different kinds of fixtures (elongated hole, circle etc.) which are used to transform into the vehicle coordinate system. Different alignment algorithms (best-fit, 3-2-1 etc.) can be used as desired for each crash vehicle configuration.

  The operator begins collection of data points with the mobile ProCam probe. Since the reference system is on the surrounding walls or panels, the operator can move freely from side-to-side or to any location for the next measurement point. No system relocation is required. 

ProCAM Probe Tips

  The different shapes and sizes of ProCam probe tips offer the user a flexible measuring system which even works in areas difficult to access, such as inside the vehicle or in the engine compartment.  The bayonet allows the change of a probe without a new calibration. 

Automatic Analysis of the Deformation with ProCAM

  During the follow-up Post-Crash measurement all values are compared to the results of the pre-measurement, and the deformation between two points is calculated.  Graphic overlay of the deformation vectors provides a clear overview of the result of the vehicle safety test. 

  Crash test regulations provide specifications for dummy placement and record keeping.  The MoveInspect DPS (Dummy Positioning system) is a multi-camera 3D optical measurement system that provides real-time positioning information for key locations of the dummy in vehicle coordinates.  DPS  is used for sled testing and barrier facilities.

STEP 1: Preparation

  To prepare the dummy positioning, the location of reference points on the corresponding side of the vehicle or buck are measured. Reflective targets placed around the door opening are also measured.  The 3D co-ordinates of the reflective targets are automatically calculated and become the reference for all future measurements for the vehicle.  For sled testing, the buck is measured one time and a file with information about the location of the reference targets is loaded prior to each test.  After the positioning system is initialized, a continuous transformation into the coordinate system of the vehicle is performed using the points and information from multiple cameras.  Movements of the vehicle which arise from placing the dummy or stepping into the vechile are immediately compensated. 

STEP 2: Positioning of the Dummy

The actual position of the dummy is recorded via control points placed on the dummy or on adapters and compared to the ideal position. The difference from actual to ideal position is shown in a coordinate table or in a graphic representation.  Since control points on the vehicle are constantly monitored, there is no effect on the measurement if the vehicle moves during the measurement process. 

  After the positioning, additional coordinates, distances or angles can be measured with the wireless Active Probe. MoveInspect DPS software automatically makes all calculations.  The results are shown in a report and can be processed individually and exported.

STEP 3: Touch Probe, Report

  After the positioning, additional coordinates, distances or angles can be measured with the wireless Active Probe. MoveInspect DPS software automatically makes all calculations.  The results are shown in a report and can be processed individually and exported.

  New requirements for FMH testing according to the FMVSS 201 requirements can be met with software available from Aicon.  FMH tests involve multiple possibilities for positioning the head to the targets. Since endless combinations of the forehead impact zone and the range of horizontal and vertical firing angles are possible, numerical simulation is used to reduce the number of tests.  Years of testing have produced a determination of the worst case as well as other relevant combinations.  Testing is then performed to validate the simulation.  The Aicon software module will automatically provide the position and angle of the head to the target.

  A second step of testing will analyze solutions and align critical components relative to their distance to critical or solid impact zones.

  This software is in compliance with all legislative requirements.  A measurement wizard guides the operator through the test and provides the actual test of the regulation along with visual interpretation of the required measurement points.

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 Aicon equipment used to measure 3D coordinates for dummy automotive crashtest

 ProCAM being used int Aicon targeted room for vehicle crash pretest

 Aicon 3D Studios ProCAM measruement results

 ProCAM measuring hard to reach foot compartment

 ProCAM Targeted touch probe uses ruby tip for precision measurement

 ProCAM can be used on crash sled

 MoveInspect DPS for real-time crash dummy positioning
FMH mesh
FMH software screenshot
FMH deformation
FMH impact point

Automotive Testing Technlogy

March 2014

Automotive Safety Testing - 3D measurement and Analysis of Crash Vehicles


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