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PRODUCTS: Leading Edge Sensors

The LaserGauge® Leading Edge Sensor is a compact 2D sensor used to inspect the leading edge of blades or vanes utilized in aircraft and power system engines, designed to scan both sides of the blade simultaneously.

The LaserGauge® Leading Edge Profiling System consists of a handheld or benchtop sensor and the Leading Edge software application. Designed to scan both sides of the blade simultaneously, the sensor returns a complete profile around the radius of the blade, which allows accurate measurements of the thickness and the plotting of the blade profile for comparison to its engineering design. The scan is then processed by the software in real time to extract measurements and analyze the contour. In addition, the edge radius can also be analyzed.

All models of USB Leading Edge sensors offer the same functionality but differ in the ability to measure different sizes of blades. All of the sensors are powered through a USB connection to a Windows laptop or computer, and all sensors must be run using the Leading Edge software application.


Handheld Leading Edge Sensors

All models of the handheld Leading Edge sensors have the same functionality but offer options for viewing area or field-of-view (FOV).

Field of View Considerations

The FOV determines how large of an edge radius can be inspected and how far back the surface can be seen from the edge of the blade to calculate a thickness measurement. The user often wants to measure the thickness of the blade at several different distances from the edge of the blade. The measurement locations for the thickness are based on a “setback distance” from the edge of the blade. A larger FOV allows a larger setback distance from the edge of the blade.

Optics Area Considerations

Another difference between the sensor models is the hardware design of the optics area where the blade contacts the sensor. The HS733LE has the most narrow optics area of all the models allowing it to access blades that are mounted close together. The HS730LE is wider at the optics area and may have problems fitting around the blade if there are other blades or structures close to the blade being scanned.


Benchtop Leading Edge Sensor

The benchtop model has the same scanning and measurement capability of the handheld models but is specifically designed to be used in a production environment where the grinding, polishing, and final adjustments to blades are performed.   

A laptop or desktop running Windows™ and a USB cable work together with the Leading Edge Sensor to acquire the signal and process/archive the measurements.

The sensor can be mounted to a surface and a foot switch is used to trigger the scanning, so the operator is free to use both hands to position the blade. An air fitting is located on the rear panel of the sensor to provide a positive purge air flow to help eliminate dust and other particles.   

The optics area is designed to allow scanning close to the root or button of the blade.


Operating Features of Leading Edge Sensors

Measurement Range

The unique design of the optics enables the sensor to scan a range of small to medium size blades. Thickness measurements are made at specified distances back from the leading edge of the blade, called the setback distances. The table below shows the range of blade sizes that can be measured using the Leading Edge sensors. The range is expressed in terms of the maximum blade thickness at the maximum setback distance.
Blade Thickness
Maximum Setback
0.070” 0.400”
0.150” 0.350”
0.200” 0.300”
0.250” 0.250”
Blade Thickness
Maximum Setback
0.050” 0.250”
0.100” 0.225”
0.150” 0.200”
Blade Thickness
Maximum Setback
0.050” 0.250”


The handheld sensor is connected to a computer, laptop or tablet PC with a cable to a USB 2.0 port providing 500mA. No other hardware or external power source is required.


Data displayed in the table, as well as the blade profile, can be saved automatically for each scan. In addition, an image of the plotted profile with measurement lines as shown in the plot window can be saved.


Separate programs can be developed for different blades, specifying different profile nominals, templates, and different setback distances for thickness measurements.


Scanning is as simple as positioning the sensor on the edge of the blade and pulling the sensor trigger. Raw video and the plotted profile are displayed in real-time on the computer used with the sensor. Measurements are recorded when the trigger is released, and out-of-spec conditions are flagged with color symbols.

Measurement Return Values

  • Blade Thickness - Blade thickness is measured at specified distances (setback) from the leading edge. Thickness can be measured at up to 10 locations on the blade.
  • Profile Deviation - Profile of the actual blade deviating outside a specified tolerance band around the blade’s design nominal, specified using customer engineering drawings as templates.
  • Edge Radius - Radius fit to the edge can be calculated automatically with each scan or with on-screen tools.

Laser Safety Warning Labels


Leading Edge Sensor Models & Specifications

  HS730LE HS733LE RS730LE
Type Handheld Handheld Benchtop
Size 1.8" (w) x 3.1" (h) x 9.4" (l) 1.75" (w) x 4.5" (h) x 7.5" (l) 3.4" (w) x 4.4" (h) x 4.9" (l)
Weight 15 oz. 12 oz. 4.0 lbs.
User Interface 3 LED’ s, 2 tactile buttons, finger trigger 3 LED’ s, 2 tactile buttons, finger trigger 3 LED’s, 3 tactile buttons, optional remote trigger
Cable Length USB 2.0A to Mini 5-Pin USB, 6’ straight cable USB 2.0A to Mini 5-Pin USB, 6’ straight cable USB 2.0A to Mini 5-Pin USB, 6’ straight cable
FOV Options 0.250” (6mm) FOV = 0.150” (4mm) 0.250” (6mm)
Horizontal Scanning Resolution 0.0004” (10µm) 0.0002” (5µm) 0.0004” (10µm)
Depth Accuracy ± 0.0005” (12µm) ± 0.0005” (12µm) ± 0.0005” (12µm)
Electrical N/A N/A Supplied by USB, 5VDC at 500mA
Air N/A N/A 3/8” Input, Maximum 10 CFM
Shock Protection Cast urethane housing Cast urethane housing Hard shell metal housing
Environmental 0° - 70° C 0° - 70° C 0° - 70° C
Laser Type Blue or Red Blue or Red Blue or Red


Leading Edge Sensors come standard with the following:

  • Leading Edge Sensor
  • 1 ea 6’ high flex USB 2.0A to 5-pin mini B
  • 1 ea Certified Calibration Plate
  • USB drive containing Leading Edge software and manual
  • Hard-shell carrying case
  • 1 yr warranty on hardware and software
  • Packing List

Optional Accessories

  • Cables
  • Front and Rear Blade Guides
  • Calibration Check Plate

Leading Edge Software

The sensor connects via a USB cable to a laptop running the Windows™ operating system. The sensor captures the image and sends it to the computer for processing by the Leading Edge software.