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Measuring Faster

The speed or the time taken to complete something is often used as a comparator of performance - but how do you know what you are measuring is correct?


That is where the world of metrology and calibration come in – we can help provide confidence in measurements and ensure attributes, like time, voltage, temperature and length, are the same anywhere in the world.

A second is the base measurement of time, but gone are the days where a second was defined as a 60th of a minute, which in turn is a 60th of an hour, which in turn is a 24th of a day. This classical version is no longer accurate enough in our modern age, with instant communications and electronic transfer of money and commerce. 

The modern definition of a second is defined as: “9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom”, which is not so easy for the ordinary person, to realise or imagine. But like it or not, due to our need for such accuracy, this is how a second is defined without using the fluctuatiing rotation of our planet, this definition is also known as an ‘International Second’. The UKs princible laboratory NPL, has a caesium atomic clock that has an accuracy of a traditional clock of +/-1 second in 158 million years.

titleAt RS Components we have an in-house calibration laboratory, which offers its metrology service to customers in the UK, Ireland, and a selection of countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We standardise our time using a combination of signals received from numerous satellites with atomic clocks on board, that whizz continuously overhead. These same signals also provide the means for your satellite navigation systems to work, and can give you an estimate of your position to within 10 meters anywhere in the world.  This signal is received and used as a reference by our own Rubidium oscillator which by itself is accurate to 10-13 of a second and distributes a reference signal to all time sensitive equipment in our laboratory. This keeps our test equipment accurate and traceable to the international second.

Industries supported by our metrology services range from North Sea Oil fields, Nuclear Power, Research laboratories to Operating theatre equipment, television broadcasting,  and sports car racing teams.

Measurement is everywhere in our daily lives, while watching BBC’s Rogue Traders episode on child safety seats, it was noticed by one of our own engineers, an instrument used to in the tests was calibrated at our facility. It is therefore something we all appreciate, that in our small way, we help to make the world a safer place.

Our calibration services at RS Components span a wide range of equipment from simple Steel Rules, Calipers and Micrometers hand tool equipment to complex items such as Digital Oscilloscopes and Environmental Monitoring instruments and a whole lot in between. Full details can be found on our published Accreditation Service on below link:

Prices and details on how to access our service can be found on the RS website by typing calibration in the search field.


StevenMacleod has not written a bio yet…

29 Apr 2016, 15:42