Optical Metrology Paving a New Era in Measurements and 3D Scanning

Published Date : Mar 08, 2016

Optical metrology employs light as the ultimate medium of measurement. Perhaps one of the most advanced aspects of modern science, the use of lasers and light to measure parameters of an object can be as complex as it is interesting. Optical metrology not only helps the scientists measure parameters of objects really far away, but it can also be used to get a highly accurate measurement of objects in order to get a 3D scan of it.

Case in point, the use of optical metrology by the U.S. Army in creating replicas of objects through 3D scanning. A team of researchers from the U.S. Army had recently shown how they can generate accurate 3D measurements of any object and use these measurements to create an identical object. They believe it to be an innovative step towards obtaining defects in vehicles and projectiles, as well as measure far away objects to assess the level of threat. The scientists are planning to use their technology in collaboration with NASA to achieve higher levels of speed and efficiency in optical metrology.

James Lackey, the director at AMRDEC, stated that optical metrology comprises a critical advantage for multiple fields, including defense, in terms of obtaining dimensional data which can be processed using software and algorithms to generate the necessary results. He also mentioned that optical metrology can be performed using handheld laser scanners. While they can provide high levels of speed, they are currently not good at producing edge details, nor are they effective in scaling down massive objects or objects that are close to the scanner. But in terms of relative progress, the use of handheld scanners is a massive boost to the global market of optical metrology.

The National Metrology Center has also provided pivotal advancements in optical metrology tech. Since one of their major tasks is to create innovations in the field of measurements to improve the rate and efficiency of measuring technologies, optical metrology has received a large amount of attention from its NMC scientists. They are using these technologies in fields as diverse as microscopic measurements to the 3D scanning of solar power cells.