In this paper the concept of a so-called assistance system for interferometric and confocal sensor systems is
presented. Goal of the research described here is the development of a software-based user friendly tool for
three-dimensional optical topography measurements. With this assistance system the user will be enabled to use
his measurement system in an optimal way for his special task. Additionally a reliable usage of these systems in
the production environment is provided.
This assistance system will be developed in the project "OptAssyst", where five research institutes are collaborating
with commercial partners from the automobile industry and their suppliers as "users" of the considered
systems. Furthermore several manufacturers of optical measurement systems are involved.
Interference microscopes are a widely used tool in many parts of production processes where exact information about
surfaces is needed. Users appreciate the high accuracy and resolution but often ignore the possible errors which cannot
be neglected in high precision metrology. Besides the measurement result, the uncertainty is the most important
information necessary to evaluate the quality of a measurement.
At the moment standardized calibration strategies for interference microscopes are missing. In order to receive
comparable results, standardized information about the uncertainty is needed. Thus, models for the determination of the
uncertainty of interference microscopes have to be developed. Therefore a simulation environment is being created,
which is able to simulate all processes occurring inside interference microscopes. In particular, influences of real
environments like laboratories or production processes are important. Furthermore user induced influences are
With the tool, based on a ray tracing procedure, systematic variations of the disturbing influences are possible and the
consequences on the interferogram and the measurement result can be simulated and analyzed. Hence it is possible to
manage the error influences of these complex systems as well as the generation of and an uncertainty budget. The
findings help to set up process orientated calibration strategies for interference microscopes to improve the comparability
und the traceability of measurements.