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Project Brief: University of Arizona

NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants


Develop rapid and accurate measurements of free-form shapes, such as those used in solar reflectors for energy and astronomical applications, for improved manufacturing of these surfaces.

RECIPIENT: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

  • Project duration: 3 Years
  • Total NIST Funding: $1,348,643
Modern manufacturing processes allow fabrication of accurate asymmetric surfaces. Such surfaces are needed for optical systems, molds for replication, solar reflectors, and other industrial and military applications. The principal limitation in the manufacture of these surfaces is the accurate and rapid measurement of their shape. This project will provide significant advances in metrology for free-form shapes. Starting with three existing measurement methods, the researchers will further develop each method, demonstrate their performance, and analyze the results, then provide a plan for commercializing these measurement methods to allow manufacturing of highly accurate free-form surfaces.

Public contact (for project information):

Jim Burge, 520-621-8182
jburge [at] (jburge[at]optics[dot]arizona[dot]edu)

rferrier [at]

NIST Program Office Contact:

Jason Boehm, 301-975-8678Jason.boehm [at] (

Created January 20, 2010, Updated September 9, 2021