The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is developing a standard for the exchange of optical data in electronic form between different design programs. In order that the data be completely unambiguous an on-line Properties Dictionary is also being established, when finished this should be available to subscribers to ISO and will enable optical designers and manufacturing industry to access information accurately and transfer this information without manual intervention, across many boundaries. The Neutral Optical Data Interchange Format (NODIF) will use this dictionary to define the optical data that can be passed between to any CAD programs that are STEP compliant. NODIF is of concern to software developers, the Properties Dictionary is of concern to manufacturers.
The importance of having a standard form for transferring optical data between Computer-Aided-Optical-Design (CAOD) programs and other, mechanical, electronic, architectural, etc. Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) programs is stressed. Emphasis is put on the need to hold all data required for the model of a large-scale project in a standard retrievable form; optical data forms a small but vital part of this. Working in liaison with ISO TC 184/SC4 (the group concerned with “Industrial Automation” and development of STEP, the Product Modelling standard, ISO 10303), ISO TC 172/SC1/WG4, (“Optics and Optical Systems/Fundamental Standards/Electronic Data Exchange”) has made the first steps towards integrating optical data with other product data. The aim is to present all data necessary for the automatic design of optical systems in a unique and unambiguous format so that it can be safely processed by any other design software that conforms to STEP regulations. Since STEP is planned to embrace all manufactured products it is a very complex standard and fitting the optical data into its format is a lengthy procedure. By international collaboration, the Application Protocol, which defines in STEP terms the optical information to be specified, and the recently completed Application Activity Model, a necessary preliminary stage in STEP mapping the manufacturing process, have been produced and are explained here. Current work on the next stage which involves creating an Application Interpreted Model or EXPRESS schema of the AAM is then described.
A short review of the new standards relating to production and testing of optical systems that have been developed recently by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is given here. A more detailed account of the current status of the Neutral Optical Data Interface Format (NODIF), the proposed interface between computer- aided-optical-design programs and other computer-aided- design programs is also given. NODIF is one application of the standard for exchange of product model data (STEP) which is a standard for the smooth transfer of data files form one program to another with no loss of information or accuracy. STEP defines a set of protocols for each application, it is device independent and language independent and a reference model for each application is defined and interpreted. A set of conformance classes must be devised, to be used for testing any implementation of STEP in computer software. When implemented, NODIF will enable optical data to be exchanged between different optical or other design programs, or archived electronically, together with all other design data for a complex product. The latest information on the advancement of NODIF and its progress towards becoming an international standard is included.
All instruments incorporating lenses are produced with the help of a range of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs. Standardization of the way optical data is specified by these programs will enable the combination of lens designs with mechanical, electrical or electronic designs to take place with less effort and greater accuracy. The STandard for the Exchange of Product model data (STEP), a universal interface for CAD programs, has been devised and is now accepted as an international standard (ISO 10303). The Neutral Optical Data Interface Format is proposed as an adjunct to STEP to deal with the optical interface and a working group ISO TC172/SC1/WG4 has been set up to define it. A statement of the Scope of this Working Group, a brief description of the Application Protocol and an example of an Application Activity Model will be presented in this paper and details of a proposed survey to determine the needs of users and industry will be given.