Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM, Freiburg

Director: Prof. Dr. Karsten Buse

Contact: Prof. Dr. Alexander Reiterer

The Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM develops tailor-made measuring techniques, systems and materials for industry. Many years of experience with optical technologies and functional materials form the basis for high-tech solutions in the fields of production control, materials characterization and testing, object and shape detection, gas and process technology as well as functional materials and systems.

Measuring and inspection systems for traffic

For 30 years, Fraunhofer IPM has been developing laser scanners and tailor made lighting and camera systems, which detect geometries and the location of objects in the surrounding three-dimensionally. Our optical distance measurement technique is based on time-delay measurement of light and delivers 2D and 3D images in real time. The systems take measurement at high speed and with high precision, particularly from moving platforms. We focus specifically on robustness and long service life of the systems and efficient data evaluation. The systems scan objects and shapes over a broad size range: from tenths of a millimeter to the 10-meter range.

Optical monitoring of infrastructure and trains

Fraunhofer IPM develops optical systems for measuring wire wear, contact wires, clearance profile, pole position and for recording the geometries of moving trains. High resolution scanners in combination with rapid image processing deliver measuring data, which are the basis for planning maintenance activities. The systems record measurement data at speeds of 100 kilometers per hour and more. Rapid, precisely and reliably. Fraunhofer IPM measuring systems for the monitoring of railway tracks are in operation all over the world.

Laser scanners for surveying road surfaces

The PPS pavement profile scanner delivers a detailed three-dimensional height profile of the road surface. No bigger than a shoebox, the scanner is mounted on an inspection vehicle at a height of three meters above the road surface. Using a single laser beam, the PPS scans the road over a breadth of roughly 4 meters. The distance from the road is determined by the time delay between the emitted and reflected light. The laser scans the surface 800 times per second, perpendicular to the forward motion of the vehicle. Each of the profiles generated in this way consists of approximately 900 measuring points. The system is therefore even able to register unevenness of less than 0.2 m.