In 1994 the Secretary of the Armed Services issued a directive stating that in the future all military procurement contracts should refer to national and international commercial standards rather than military specifications. To date, more than 7,000 military specifications have been canceled. Of the 55 military specifications that relate to optical products, half have been canceled and one-quarter are declared inactive. Inactive specifications can be used for existing procurement contracts, but not for new ones. The optical manufacturing community in the United States must become involved in the development of new voluntary commercial optical standards to fill the void left by the absence of the military specifications.
The optical coating specifications can be replaced by the international standard ISO 9211 “Optics and optical instruments – Optical coatings,” but other specifications need to be reviewed for relevancy to current manufacturing techniques, and then adopted as American National Standards, or replaced by new voluntary standards. It is imperative that there is broad industry and government participation in the development of optical standards so that the resulting documents adequately meet the needs of all optics manufacturers and customers in the U.S. The same participation is required to insure that international optical standards are developed in such a way that guarantees U.S. optics industry competitiveness in international commerce.
To facilitate the development of optical standards, a consortium made up of seven professional societies, trade associations and companies sponsored the incorporation of the Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council (OEOSC) that will act as the administrator of national optical standards for the USA. OEOSC has received accreditation from ANSI for the committee ASC OP “Optics and Electro-Optical Instruments.” ASC OP is now authorized to develop these national standards. OEOSC is also responsible for the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee number 172 “Optics and optical instruments.” This group negotiates the wording of ISO optical standards with representatives from other countries.
Experts from all optical manufacturing companies, government agencies, and the general public are invited to join the ASC OP committee and the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 172. Information concerning participation can be found on the OEOSC website (www.oeosc.org).
Standardization of terminology, requirements, interfaces, and test methods in the field of optics. This includes complete systems, devices, instruments, optical components, auxiliary devices and accessories, as well as materials.
Excluded: Standardization for specific items in the field of cinematography (SMPTE), photographic apparatus (ANSI/NAPM IT3), ophthalmic lenses (ANSI/Z80), eye protectors (ASTM), micrographics (ANSI/AIIM C23), fiber optics for telecommunication (ANSI/EIA/TIA FO-6.3) and electrical safety of optical elements.
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