The Computerized Anthropometric Research and Design (CARD) Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in conjunction with industrial partners through SAE are planning an international anthropometric survey of civilian populations. The survey is called the Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource, or CAESAR.

This survey will use the latest three-dimensional (3-D) surface anthropometry technology. Surface anthropometry is the detailed measurement of the outer surface of the human body. These technologies can capture hundreds of thousands of points in three-dimensions on the human body surface in a few seconds. This capability has many advantages over the old system of measurement using tape measures, anthropometers (a type of measuring ruler), and other similar instruments. Some key advantages include:

1.It reduces the guesswork about the body surface, which makes it much easier to use in computer-aided design and rapid prototyping.
2. It alleviates the dependency of the measurements on the subject’s positioning when measured, allowing the extraction of an almost infinite number and variety of measurements long after the subject has moved on.
3. It provides the first viable method for capturing the human in their clothing, equipment, and workspace, and in realistic postures.
4. Being a non-contact system it reduces measuring differences between measurers making data sets collected by different groups more comparable.
The goal of CAESAR is to represent the anthropometric variability of men and women, ages 18-65 in the United States and Europe. The approach is to start in the United States, the NATO member nation with the largest population, followed by the Netherlands, whose population contains the tallest people in NATO on the average, and Italy, whose population contains some of the shortest people in NATO. The target sample sizes will be 4,000 for the United States and 2,000 for each of the other two countries. An effort will be made in the sampling plan to ensure there is a representative sample for weight (mass), ethnic groups, gender, geographic regions, and socio-economic status. At least ten geographic sites in the United States will be surveyed in the time period from April 1998 to early 2000. Data collection is expected to start in the Netherlands in summer of 1999 and in Italy in late 2000. CAESAR’s data collection methods will be standardized and documented so that the database can be consistently expanded and updated. Subsequent phases could add other age groups, other countries, or look at trends over time within countries.