NASCAR Implements Track-Side Optical Scanning Stations

The American racing series NASCAR® (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) has implemented a track-side structured light scanning system to measure the template of competing team race cars for the 2018 season. The Optical Scanning Station (OSS) comprises an enclosed tented structure with 16 high definition cameras and 8 projectors mounted which will scan the race car body for conformance. An additional camera is mounted underneath.

The structured light based OSS generates a 700,000 point cloud and compares the generate 3D model against the original race specification CAD model to determine car legality. Teams will be given a 0.150-inch tolerance on metal surfaces and a 0.200-inch tolerance on glass surfaces.

Areas of the body in compliance will show up on the computer screen in green; areas outside the allowable tolerance will display in red or blue. The entire process is expected to take approximately three minutes for each race car.

Previous NASCAR Measuring template

OSS was developed by Hawk-Eye Innovations and will replace the laser inspection system (LIS) and claw template station that previously measured vehicle bodies. The system’s reliability has already been tested last season and into the winter months.

Two inspection stations will be installed at the race tracks this year, one in the Monster Energy Cup Series garage and the other for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. A third system is to be permanently stationed at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.

Editor Footnote: Nascar, with a TV audience of millions watching races live every week, is sure to showcase its new ‘flashing light’ technology which can only assist in raising the profile of structured light optical metrology and its growing role in manufacturing process and quality control.

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