Optics Standards
Optics and
Standards Council
ANSI's standards
search engine
American National
Standards Institute
Today there are thousands of national and international standards available to us to
specify and manufacture optics.  If you know what you are looking for, just click on the
icon on the left for the appropriate standards agency and your browser will spawn a new
session where you can buy and download the applicable US and International Standards.  
NSSN is a handy tool to help you find standards applicable to your business.

Savvy about Standards

At Savvy Optics, we specialize in American National and International Standards for
optics.  With experts participating in most optics standard development efforts at
ANSI/OEOSC and ISO, we are always in-the-know about which standard is most applicable
for each situation and optics requirements, and can give you savvy advice about how to
change your specifications, drawings, or inspection methods. Drop us a line for more
information about how Savvy Optics can help you.  Here are a couple of common

ISO 10110 Drawing Standard

Published in 1996, the International standard for optics drawings continues to gain
popularity throughout the world.  Based loosely on the German DIN 3140 standard for
optics drawings, it is a pictographic/symbolic notation system intended to reduce the
language ambiguity associated with translation of notes.  Nevertheless, it can be quite
counter-intuitive for engineers and opticians trained in the United States, where most
drawings are notes-based, structured loosely on MIL-STD-34 optical drawings notation.

Training and education in the area of this standard is one of Savvy Optics' specialties.  
With members on all of the critical working groups for fundamental standards in the US
and Internationally, Savvy Optics always has access to the latest standards and their
interpretations.  Currently, Savvy Optics offers the only ISO 10110 on-site training
program that is accredited by OEOSC, the Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council.

The latest news is that, effecting 2020, the US will adopt WITHOUT MODIFICATION the
ISO 10110 drawing standard. This new adoption marks a key turning point in the use of
ISO 10110 as an international standard. The new series of American National Standards
shall be called ANSI/OEOSC ISO 10110, and will be identical to the international version.

Surface Imperfections

Since 1945, MIL-PRF-13830B, in one or another of its various forms, has been used as
the standard for surface imperfections specification and measurement throughout the
world.  Increasingly, though, demanding applications and exacting customers have been
making this standard obsolete. Now the optics industry has a choice of which standard to
use, and it's not always clear which is the best path.  

In addition to the MIL standards, there is now ANSI/OEOSC OP1.002-2009, the newest
offering for surface imperfections, based on the original MIL specifications.  Savvy
recommends this for anyone who needs a cosmetic specification for new optics, with a
minimum of conversion cost from the MIL methods.  Using the same notation and
comparison standards as the MIL, it offers the simplest path forward, for people who can
accept the "relative brightness" metric.

A third alternative is ISO 10110-7.  This method, based mostly on the German DIN 3140
standard, is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and around the world.  While the
scratch standard is based on line width, the standard does allow for visual comparison,
using chrome-on-glass comparison standards.  Since chrome on glass has a very
different "relative brightness" from "real" scratches on an optic, microscopes are often
required to validate the smaller scratch widths.  Savvy recommends ISO 10110-7 for
applications where actual scratch width, rather than brightness, is what matters in the

2017 saw the publication of a new version of ISO 10110-7 and it's sister metrology
standard, ISO 14997. The new version of the ISO surface imperfection standard includes
a visibility notation based on the MIL standard. The new version is streamlined and
simplified but sticks to the basis approach of a visual inspection of parts and a comparison
standard for gauging scratches and digs. Accumulation and concentration rules are
basically the same as for the MIL and ANSI standards

Mid-Spatial Frequency Ripple (Waviness)

With the world-wide conversion to deterministic polishing methods for the manufacture of
precision aspheres and even spherical optics, an entirely new type of form error has
emerged from the relative obscurity of X-ray optics and high-powered lasers and into the
mainstream.  Modern deterministic polishing methods such as MRF or STP will leave a
signature "ripple" in the surface form related to the tool size, the step size, and other
polishing parameters.

Mid-spatial frequency (MSF) errors, also called "ripple" or "waviness," are typically defined
as surface form errors that are beyond the practical reach of Zernike specifications (say 5
or 6 cycles per diameter) but still too long a scale length to be practically evaluated using
roughness measurement instruments (e.g. an AFM).  On a typical 50 mm diameter optic,
this would be the 5 mm to 0.1 mm spatial periods.  

There is no practical standard for mid-spatial frequency ripple on optics
per se.  There
are some good standards in the automotive industry, and there is an excellent notation
standard, ISO 10110-8, which allows the use of RMS surface texture over discrete
wavebands and use of the best analytic tool for MSF ripple, the power spectral density of
the surface profile or PSD.  Since the PSD is a Fourier domain technique, many
manufacturers cannot comfortably sign up to a PSD without some significant
hand-holding. Judicious use of notes for RMS slope specifications or RMS surface errors
versus spatial frequency bands are the most common methods to specify MSF ripple, but
each has its weakness.  

We h
ave just completed rewriting the  ISO 10110-8 drawing notation to add areal
specifications for surface texture.  Any
comments or feedback on this topic will be greatly

(c) 2
020 Savvy Optics Corp.  All rights reserved.
Standards News

The next meeting for ASC OP will be in conjunction with Photonics West in San
Francisco.  The next meeting  for ISO TC172/SC1 has been scheduled for the week
of N
ovember 9th, 2020 in Clearwater Florida.
Contact OEOSC to become an expert in either ASC OP or ISO TC172
Check out the detailed schedule for up-coming ASC OP technical meetings
Where I get MIL