Precision Engineering Division Internet-based Surface Metrology Algorithm Testing System
 Internet-based Surface Metrology Algorithm Testing SystemNational Institute of Standards and Technology

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About the Internet-based Surface Metrology Algorithm Testing System (SMATS)[1]

Surface measurement instruments, such as stylus profilers and optical profilers, are used to characterize the roughness of surfaces. Most of the measurement instruments are microcomputer-based systems, which contain both surface analysis software and database/data storage. Each measurement instrument has its own analysis software and data format. When a surface is measured, the measurement instrument generates a data file and stores it on a local disk. The data file is then analyzed by the analysis software provided in the surface measurement instrument. The analysis algorithm may not be verified and different implementations can yield differences in output parameters. Hence, there is a need for a standards organization to help ensure traceability in algorithm development by providing and maintaining a set of master algorithms and data sets for companies, universities, and instrument manufacturers to compare and validate their surface analysis systems.

This project is about the development of the Internet-based surface metrology algorithm testing system (SMATS) [1] for parameter evaluation and algorithm verification in the area of surface texture. The software and specimen database are located and run at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Companies, universities, and instrument manufacturers have remote access to standard data sets and analysis tools through the Internet. The software and the database help users check the implementations of algorithms as well as the calculation of surface parameters in industry. The virtual standard reference material (SRM) database contains an electronic catalog of raw surface profiles, filtered profiles, and their calculated surface parameters. The users may download standard surface profiles from the database and use these profiles to test their own software. The users can also download waviness, roughness, and primary profiles for each example. The downloadable data file is saved in the Surface Data File (SDF) format [2] and the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format [3][4]. Users can then use these profiles to check either their filter implementation or the calculation of surface parameters. In addition, the users may submit profiles and topographic images to SMATS for calculation of surface parameters.

The calculations of certain surface parameters of the NIST SMATS have been validated based on two surface parameter algorithm round-robins to ascertain the agreement between various surface metrology software packages, the first conducted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Committee B46 on the Classification and Designation of Surface Qualities [5] and the second by the National Physical Laboratory in the UK [6].

The SMATS contains a broad spectrum of tools, which helps the user to perform the analyses to verify the implementation of algorithms. The software is intended to provide visualization and analysis tools typically available on commercial surface profilers, and also provide several advanced analysis tools and capabilities. The analysis tools provided in the system include slope and polynomial detrending, Gaussian filtering using convolution and fast Gaussian filter techniques [7], 2RC filtering using recursive methods [8] and convolution, and advanced tools such as power spectral density, cross and auto-correlation. Surface parameters for waviness, roughness, and primary profiles may be calculated after a profile is filtered. Surface parameters include height, spacing, shape, and hybrid parameters [9] [10]. All results are embedded in an HTML page to make the software accessible in a firewall environment. The above analysis tools are currently used for 2D analysis and there are some additional tools for 3D analysis.

The ability to access data from the virtual SRM database is an important feature of the system. The database is necessary to organize information for data sets generated by both measurement and simulation. Machine condition parameters and other process parameters could be stored along with part information. In addition, the database could be used to store parameters generated from the surface profiles. With this database, measurement instrument designers or customers are able to query information through the Internet and use it to validate parameter calculations and the implementation of their algorithms. The database provides features for querying information based on parameters, instrument types, processes, filenames, part names, times and dates. It also provides tools for visualizing the information after queries and loading of the data sets from the database to analysis software. Companies around the world can use it to validate algorithms during implementation and development of their software for surface finish analysis. It may also foster the confidence of users in surface texture analysis provided by instrument designers and third parties.

[1] S.H. Bui and T.V. Vorburger, Surface Metrology Algorithm Testing System, Prec. Eng. 31, 218-225 (2007).
[2] K. J. Stout, P. J. Sullivan, W. P. Dong, E. Mainsah, N. Lou, T. Mathia and H. Zahouani, The Development of Methods for The Characterisation of Roughness in Three Dimensions, Report EUR 15178 EN. EC Brussels, 1993
[3]. B. Muralikrishnan, J. Raja, A proposal for a common language for sharing surface texture data, Proc. ASPE 2002, p. 434-437
[4] M. H. Needleman, XML, Serials Review, Volume 25, Issue 1, 1999, p. 117-121.
[5] S. Bui, T. Renegar, T. Vorburger, J. Raja, and M. Malburg, Internet-based Surface Metrology Algorithm Testing System,Wear 257, 1213-1218 (2004).
[6] T. Li, R.K. Leach, L. Jung, X. Jiang, and L.A. Blunt, NPL Report Eng 16, Comparison of Type F2 Software Measurement Standards for Surface Texture, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, UK, 2009.
[7] Y. -B. Yuan, T. V. Vorburger, J. F. Song, and T. B. Renegar, A Simplified Realization for the Gaussian Filter in Surface Metrology, X. International Colloquium on Surfaces, Chemnitz, Germany, 2000
[8] X. Liu, Advanced techniques for separation of roughness, waviness and form, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1999 [9] Surface Texture (Surface Roughness, Waviness, and Lay), an American National Standard, ASME B46.1-2009, New York, NY
[10] ISO 4287, Geometrical Product Specifications (GPS) -- Surface texture: Profile method -- Terms, definitions and surface texture parameters, 1997

This software system was developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology by employees of the Federal Government in the course of their official duties, pursuant to title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code. Data and descriptions of this software system are not subject to copyright protection and are in the public domain. This software system is an experimental system. NIST assumes no responsibility whatsoever for its use by other parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about its quality, reliability, or any other characteristic. We would appreciate acknowledgement if the software is used.

Technical Inquiries: Thomas Brian Renegar
Surface and Nanostructure Metrology Group
Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division
Physical Measurement Laboratory
NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8212
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8212

NIST | PML | Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division

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Date Created: July 15, 2002
Last Updated: October 22, 2012