Geo Week News

May 30, 2007

ASTM E57 Update

ASTM E57 Committee Chair Alan Lytle of NIST offers this update on the committee’s progress leading up to its one-year anniversary next month. To begin, Lytle notes three highlights:

  • “E57 is gaining in membership and recognition.”
  • “Excellent work is being accomplished by the four subcommittees” – Terminology, Test Methods, Best Practices and Data Interoperability.
  • “In less that a year since organizing we already have one standard (Terminology) and are already having a second round of ballots to add to that standard.”

Test methods

Since the last main E57 Committee meeting in Orange County, CA in January, the E57.02 Test Methods Subcommittee has moved to create three task groups:

  • Range Protocol – to create a protocol to test the distance uncertainty of the instrument.
  • Angle Protocol – to create a protocol to test the angular uncertainties of the instrument, both horizontal and vertical.
  • Simulation – to define the parameters and desired results of simulation testing, and then to use those simulations in analyzing test protocols.

Much discussion has taken place regarding the shape of the targets used in the various tests (planar vs. spherical), and the number of iterations required to accurately capture enough data required to verify the uncertainties associated with individual instruments. Gerry Cheok of NIST solicited advice from statisticians at NIST on experimental design, and this has been incorporated into the range protocol. Mike Garvey of M7 Technologies hosted another round of experiments at his facility in Youngstown, OH, whose principal aim was to examine the use of the United Spatial Metrology Network approach. Gerry Cheok and Kam Saidi, also of NIST, conducted another test of the range protocol, this time using both planar and spherical targets. Updates on both these efforts will be presented at next month’s E57 Committee meeting.

At the suggestion of Bob Bridges of Lite Cycles (based on the success of the Terminology subcommittee), a monthly phone conference is being established for the Test Methods subcommittee to provide an ongoing forum for idea exchange, debate and update.

Best practices

On behalf of the GSA‘s Calvin Kam, Lytle thanked E57 Committee members for supporting the development of GSA’s laser scanning guide. He observed that those discussions helped provide a framework for the GSA’s Best Practices effort, and the resulting GSA document should provide a good starting place for an E57 document of this kind. E57 Committee members John Palmateer of Boeing, Tad Fry of Anheuser-Busch and others have also offered to share their lessons and guidelines for the purpose of crafting a standard document. Palmateer of Boeing and Ted Knaak of Riegl USA will present sessions on this subject at the June meeting.

Data interoperability

Lytle reports that the Data Interoperability subcommittee has gained the participation of highly committed individuals, a number of whom will speak at the June meeting where a chair and vice-chair of this subcommittee will be elected.

In a subcommittee meeting held in conjunction with SPAR 2007 in March, Gene Roe of Autodesk facilitated a discussion in which a scope statement was crafted. Since that time, discussions have occurred on forming two task groups within E57.04. The first will be devoted to examining and documenting the specific requirements for a data exchange standard, and the second to a review of existing data formats (e.g., LAS). Several individuals, Kevin Ackley of Course Six in particular, have already begun providing input for the requirements document.

At the upcoming June meeting, Lytle notes that less time will be spent in general sessions than in the past, and that there will be no forum event. Instead the focus will be on providing opportunities for the subcommittees to accomplish specific work items.

ASTM E57 Committtee on 3D Imaging Systems will hold its next formal meeting June 24-26 as part of the ASTM June Committee Week, June 24-29, 2007, Norfolk, VA. Meeting and registration information is available at For questions contact Dottie Meyers, ASTM Meetings Department, [email protected], tel. 610.832.9706, fax 610.832.9669. The E57 Committee, an outgrowth of workshops held at NIST over the last several years, was formed to develop standards for 3D laser scanners, optical range cameras (flash LADAR) and other 3D imaging systems. Spar Point’s Tom Greaves currently serves as Membership Secretary of the E57 Committee.

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