Mobile Spatial coordinate Measuring System (MScMS) is a wireless-sensor-network based system developed at the Industrial Metrology and Quality Engineering Laboratory of DISPEA – Politecnico di Torino. It has been designed to perform simple and rapid indoor dimensional measurements of medium-large size objects (large scale metrology). It is made up of three basic parts: a “constellation” of wireless devices (Crickets), a mobile probe, and a PC to store and elaborate data. Crickets and mobile probe use ultrasound (US) transceivers in order to evaluate mutual distances. Each US device has a communication range limited by a cone of transmission within a nominal opening angle of about 170° and a maximum distance of no more than 8 m. The mobile probe location in the working volume is obtained by a trilateration, consequently it should communicate with at least 4 constellation devices at once. The system makes it possible to calculate the position — in terms of spatial coordinates — of the object points “touched” by the probe. Acquired data are then available for different types of elaboration (determination of distances, curves or surfaces of measured objects). During the system set-up, the constellation Crickets (beacons) are manually placed in the working volume (we define this operation as “positioning”). After that, their coordinates are determined as much precisely as possible (this operation is said “location”). The positioning of constellation devices is one of the most critical aspects in the system set-up. In principle, Crickets can be arranged without restrictions all around the measured object. However, the number and position of network devices are strongly related to the dimensions and shape of both the measuring volume and the measured object. The accuracy in the location of constellation devices is fundamental for the accuracy of the coordinates of the touched points during measurement operation. It is important to assure a full coverage of the space served by network devices by a proper alignment of US transmitters. For that reason, an ad hoc software “pre-processor” has been developed in order to help the operator in positioning and locating constellation devices in the working volume, according to the measuring space and the measured object dimensional characteristics. The aim of the paper is to introduce and describe this computer-assisted approach. Some preliminary results of experimental tests carried out on the system prototype are also presented and discussed.

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