Classification of aircraft and determination of the angle of rotation of the nose wheel

Short description

Aircraft are pushed back from the positions at the terminal by aircraft tractors without bars and towed to maintenance hangars. When the aircraft is picked up, the LD-OEM 1000 laser measurement system classifies the related aircraft type and assigns a max. steering angle to the aircraft. During the entire towing journey the steering angle of the aircraft nose wheel is monitored via the laser measurement system. If the max. permissible steering angle is exceeded the tractor driver is informed via a display: in this case the nose wheel must be checked by an engineer. This application was developed and patented by the customer.


Various aircraft types are pushed backwards to the apron by an aircraft tractor without a bar. While the aircraft is pushed the steering angle for the specific type must not be exceeded. As a result, e.g., at a large steering angle a warning must be sent to the aircraft tractor's driver: if the steering angle is excessive the aircraft is not allowed to take off and must be checked in the workshop. The costs for such downtimes are very high and must be prevented in all circumstances.


The LD-OEM 1000 laser measurement system is used here. The scanner is fitted in the driver''s cab looking towards the aircraft. The scanner is adjusted to an angle of approx. 20° upward. The LD-OEM essentially scans the underside of the aircraft.

The nose of the aircraft is acquired initially on the approach and the aircraft classified.

The measured values from the scanner are acquired continuously and evaluated in a computer to determine the position. This situation also applies while the aircraft is pushed. In this way the steering angle can be reliably monitored and a warning or stop command sent to the driver if necessary.

Customer benefits

First, the monitoring of the steering angle is required by law on new tractors, in addition the driver has the chance to correct the angle after receiving the warning. This correction will then prevent the need for maintenance and therefore save a large amount of money and also hassle for the passengers.

  • Following product families can be used
    Long-range laser technology for use in harsh industrial environments
    • Long sensing range even when detecting dark surfaces
    • Eye-safe laser technology
    • High angular resolution of up to 0.125 degrees
    • High level of immunity to solar radiation and other infrared light sources
    • Synchronous monitoring of up to four freely definable fields
    • Real-time output of measurement data via Ethernet interface
    • Gap-free scanning with uniform laser spot over the full 360-degree angle