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Dimensional Metrology Group

Realizes and disseminates the SI unit of length from micrometers to kilometers. We develop, perform and deliver measurements, standards and infrastructural technology services that promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness.

The Dimensional Metrology Group (DMG) provides unique high-accuracy length-based calibrations and leads documentary standards efforts that are essential to global trade, spur innovation in manufacturing, and promote adoption of innovative measuring technologies. The DMG produces over 15 % of all NIST calibrations by revenue, performing thousands of measurements for industry, academia, and government institutions each year. This includes supplying critical measurement services to the military and their primary standards laboratories, which helps ensure the reliability of assets used to keep U.S. troops safe. The DMG leads documentary standards efforts that prescribe test methods and performance specifications for advanced measuring systems used in the large-scale precision manufacturing industry, including automotive, aerospace, and excavation equipment, one of the largest net-exporters of U.S. produced manufactured goods. Hundreds of millions of dollars in metrology instruments are bought, sold, and warrantied each year using NIST-lead documentary standards, which allow manufacturers to make informed investments in new technologies that improve their efficiency, ensure product quality, and enable global trade.


  • Documentary Standards
    The group’s staff actively participate in and lead the development of Documentary Standards on various Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) by providing the necessary expertise, fundamental measurement science and advanced technologies. We engage with the following SDOs: ASME, ASTM, CIE, and ISO.
  • Resources
    The Engineering Metrology Toolbox provides tools for calculating the index of refraction of air, which is needed for interferometric length measurements, and for calculating the elastic compression of spheres and cylinders at point and line contacts.


The Dimensional Metrology Group welcomes opportunities to collaborate on joint research, technology, and standards development projects. The group provides multiple opportunities for students, scientists, industry, academia, and other R&D laboratories to collaborate. Specific opportunities depend on current areas of interest within the Group, but may include undergraduate research fellowship, postdoctoral fellowships, visiting scientist, and guest researchers as well as various cooperative research arrangements ranging from formal agreements, such as CRADA, Consortia, and interagency agreements, to informal collaborations. For more details, see Employment and Internship Opportunities and Collaboration Opportunities.

Projects and Programs

Dimensional Measurement Services

The Dimensional Measurement Services (DMS) project delivers unique high-accuracy length based calibrations that are essential to global trade, supports basic

SI Length and Traceability

To enable our highest accuracy calibrations and NIST advanced research efforts, we maintain and develop methods to provide traceability to the meter via laser

News and Updates

Back to the Future: Gear Edition

As mechanical objects, gears have been around for so long that people may take them for granted. But gears are sophisticated parts that play a vital role in

Helping Laser Scanners Measure Up

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have devised a novel, accurate, easy-to-operate, time- and labor-saving way to provide




Group Leader

General Information