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CAESAR Project Releases New Human Body Measurement Data

ANSI member SAE International manages cooperative research venture

New York, Sep 16, 2002

Like snowflakes, virtually no two human bodies are exactly alike. Variation in the human form has far-reaching effects in industry and on standards, for how we fit into and use vehicles, clothing, or equipment can be critical to our safety and well-being. The recently completed CAESAR (Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource) project reduces guesswork about body surface measurements, making it easier to use computer-aided design and rapid prototyping when making products that are dependent on accurate information about the size and shape of the human body.

Anthropometry is the study of human body measurements. The term includes the actual process of taking measurements, the recording of data, data summarization, documentation, and manipulation for various analyses. The need for anthropometric data on civilian populations spans many industries and countries, affecting standards development worldwide. It is used for industrial workstation layout, automobile design, apparel sizing, protective equipment design, safety assessment and cockpit design to name just a few applications.

Managed by ANSI member Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE International), the CAESAR project is a unique joint venture that brought together military and private sector interests from the apparel, aerospace, automotive and other industries. Using a three-dimensional body scanner, CAESAR generated surface data on 2,500 U.S. and 2,500 European civilian males & females ages 18-65 of various weights for scientists and engineers around the world, to revise current anthropometric databases.

Using a new data collection technology referred to as Three Dimensional (3-D) Surface Anthropometry, this project provides the first viable method for capturing 3-D data of subjects in realistic postures, and alleviates dependence on the subject's positioning when measured. The number of subjects included in the study also makes this product a reliable source for reducing measuring differences and making data sets collected by different groups more comparable.

The survey was initiated by the NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development (AGARD), Working Group 20 on 3-D Surface Anthropometry in 1993. After reviewing the technology and establishing its superiority and feasibility for an international survey, AGARD developed the draft survey plan that became the baseline for CAESAR. AGARD was also pivotal in establishing the international and industrial collaboration necessary for a project of this scope. At its conclusion, the CAESAR project has produced the most comprehensive anthropometric data available to date. The data collected through CAESAR can help many industries provide products with superior operability, safety and performance in addition to reducing modification costs.

SAE International has just released for sale the North American data set. Additional information is available from the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE International) which managed the CAESAR project at:

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