SC01 – Understanding Scratch Dig


Surface imperfection specifications (i.e. Scratch-Dig) are among the most misunderstood, misinterpreted, and ambiguous of all optics component specifications. This course provides attendees with an understanding of the source of ambiguity in surface imperfection specifications and provides the context needed to properly specify surface imperfections using a variety of specification standards, and to evaluate a given optic to a particular level of surface imperfection specification. The course will focus on the differences and applications of the MIL-PRF-13830, ISO 10110-7, and ANSI/OEOSC OP1.002. Many practical and useful specification examples are included throughout, as well as a demonstration of visual comparison evaluation techniques and artifacts.

Learning outcomes

This course will enable you to:

  • describe the various surface imperfection specifications that exist today
  • compose a meaningful surface imperfection specification for cosmetic imperfections using ISO, ANSI, or Mil standards
  • identify the different illumination methods and comparison standards for evaluation
  • demonstrate a surface imperfection visual inspection
  • understand the options available for controlling surface imperfections in a vendor/supplier relationship


The course price includes course notes for all attendees and one copy of the latest ANS approved surface imperfection specification standard OP1.002

Course Length

Half-day (3.5 hours)


Dave Aikens is known throughout the industry as the foremost expert on scratch and dig specifications and their interpretation. He has been involved in surface quality specifications for more than 30 years. Dave is the President and founder of Savvy Optics Corp., is the head of the American delegation to ISO TC 172 SC1, and chair of the technical advisory group to TC172 for optics and photonics standards.

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To request training please fill out the form below. If you have any questions please contact Dave Aikens directly at

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