Aircraft Alignment System
With a laser-guided Electronic Mating Alignment System (EMAS), Lockheed Martin employs Leica Laser Trackers from Leica Geosystems for mating of fuselage and wing assemblies for the F-35 Lightning II. With three variants of the F-35, Lockheed’s use of EMAS for measuring and mating F-35 fuselages and wings is designed to lower overall costs by eliminating the need for multiple fixtures for the large components. Process and quality are also improved via the inspection system that can mate the components virtually in software prior to performing the actual physical mating of aircraft components. The EMAS was installed by Lockheed’s integrator, Advanced Integration Technology, which purchased five Leica LTD800MC laser trackers for the latest versions of the system. The system uses laser trackers and servo control positioners to mate the forward to the center fuselage, the wings to the center fuselage, and aft to the wing/center component.