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New ASTM International Committee E57 on Imaging Systems
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 September 2006 Feature Section Introduction

New ASTM International Committee E57 on Imaging Systems

The potential of three-dimensional imaging systems is nearly limitless. These systems, which are used for rapid capture of 3D information of a scene or object, have applications in a large and diverse range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, medicine, animation, forensics, wear analysis, and industrial metrology. With this in mind, ASTM International is proud to introduce Committee E57 on 3D Imaging Systems.

Information generated by 3D imaging systems is often provided in the form of point clouds with associated color and intensity data. These systems include laser scanners, 3D optical scanners, 3D range cameras, and 3D flash laser radars, or LADARs. Sub-classes of these instruments include (a) those that are ground-based and are capable of capturing information about a scene that is on the order of a large project such as process plants, construction sites, buildings, and bridges, and (b) those that are vehicle-based and provide navigation-related information.

At present, a wide variety of imaging devices are on the market. While 3D imaging once required expensive and elaborate facilities, many of the currently available desktop PCs have the power and graphics necessary to transform two-dimensional data from computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment into vivid and incredibly detailed 3D representations.

At present, there are no standards for evaluating the performance and use of 3D imaging systems or the end products derived from the data they generate, despite the existence of the technology for several decades. Over the last 10 years, the use of these systems has become far more established and accepted, highlighting the absence of and need for a comprehensive standards program. Standards developed by Committee E57 will provide a basis for fair comparisons of such systems, reduce the confusion with regard to their terminology, and increase user confidence in their ability to perform as intended and advertised.

—Pat Picariello, ASTM director of developmental operations

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