Magazine – PDF - Cal Lab Magazine

Magazine – PDF - Cal Lab Magazine

The World Leader in Temperature MetrologyThank you for making2012 our best year yet.The Source for Calibration ProfessionalsMore Nations Choose Isotech Temperature Standards.... Shouldn’t You?ThermometryBridges0.017mk to 0.5mkThe Source for Calibration ProfessionalsCalibration Baths& Furnaces-196ºC to 1300ºCPortableTemperature Sources-100ºC to 1300ºCThermocoupleReferencingSystemsBlackbody SourcesHigh Emissivity to1300ºCPrimaryTemperatureStandardsReferenceThermometers0.001ºC to 0.02°CIsotech North America (The Americas)Web-site: www.isotechna.comE-mail: sales@isotechna.comPhone: +(802) 863-8050Isothermal Technology Limited (Worldwide)Web-site: +44 (0) 1704 543830

CALENDARCONFERENCES & MEETINGS 2012-2013Nov 27-30 80th ARFTG Microwave MeasurementSymposium. San Diego, CA. The theme for the 80th ARFTGConference is in the test and measurements for the rapidlyexpanding fields of the diverse Wireless Communicationapplications. 28-29 Large Volume Metrology Conference &Exhibition (LVMC) 2012. Chester, UK. LVMC is the premiertechnical conference in Europe dedicated solely to the use ofprecision dimensional measurement technology for processimprovement for manufacturers. 8-10 International Conference on Instrumentation &Measurement, Computer, Communication, and Control(IMCCC 2012). Harbin, China. 6-7 NCSLI Technical Exchange. Charlotte, NC.The Exchange provides a forum for exchanging ideas,measurement techniques, best practices and innovations withothers interested in metrology industry trends. 3-4 Southeast Asia Flow Measurement Conference.Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 7-8 METROMEET 9th International Conferenceon Industrial Dimensional Metrology. Bilboa, Spain.METROMEET has consolidated as an internationalreference in the area of Industrial Dimensional Metrology,so it summons international leaders of the sector, to exposethe latest advances in the subject and to propose productquality improvements and production efficiency. 18-22 Measurement Science Conference (MSC).Anaheim, CA. To help educate the measurement communityduring these challenging times, the Measurement ScienceConference (MSC) 2013 will focus on presenting conceptsthat provide the attendee the necessary tools needed inthe application of operational excellence in the Metrologyorganization. fasterand smarterwith newMET/TEAM softwareMET/TEAM Test Equipment AssetManagement software makes it easyto consistently track, manage andreport on all aspects of your calibrationoperations and comply with regulatorystandards. Fully integrates with MET/CAL ®calibration software and optional mobile,commerce, and customer portal modulesto help you manage more workloadwith less work.Field calibrationQuality/lab managementCustomer serviceMET/TEAMSoftwareTMLab calibrationSystem and databaseadministrationAsset trackingand managementGet the details: Calibration. Precision, performance, confidence.Electrical RF Temperature Pressure Flow Software©2012 Fluke Calibration. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Ad 4225447A_EN4225447A_EN_MET_TEAM_half_Cal_Lab.indd 110/11/12 1:39 PMCal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology2 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

CALENDARASQ CCT (Certified CalibrationTechnician) Exam Preparation Program.Learning Measure. Metrology Self-Paced OnlineTraining. Fluke Training. Measurement Concepts Program.Learning Measure. Measuring Tools Self DirectedLearning. The QC Group, RF and Microwave Program.Learning Measure. Calibration Technician SelfstudyCourse. J&G Technology. Online & Independent StudyIntroduction to Measurement andCalibration Online Training. The QCGroup, to Measurement and Calibration Self-Paced Online Training. FlukeTraining. 17025 Accreditation Courses.Workplace Training, Uncertainty Self-PacedOnline Training. Fluke Training. Uncertainty Analysis Online Training. The QC Group, for Cal Lab Personnel Self-Paced Online Training. Fluke Training. Concepts. QUAMETECInstitute of Measurement Technology. Dimensional Measurement Online Training. The QC Group, Measurement Series Level 1& 2. Workplace Training, Electrical Measurement Self-Paced Online Training. Fluke Training. and Shock Testing. EquipmentReliability Institute, Uncertainty Analysis Program.Learning Measure. Laboratory Accreditationto ISO/IEC Standard 17025The International Accreditation Service (IAS)offers laboratories Accreditation Service Plus++ Quick scheduling and efficient assessments+ On demand responsiveness+ True affordability+ Global recognition by ILAC+ Proof of compliance with ISO/IEC 17025Learn about the Benefits of IAS Lab: The International Journal of Metrology4 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

Electric Voltage & CurrentVoltage TransducersProvide an Analog Output Signal Magnetically Isolatedfrom the Primary Voltage Circuit• Full-scale Primary Voltages from ±500V to ±8,000V• Amplitude Accuracy to ±0.2% at dc• Amplitude Frequency Response dc to 500kHz (-3dB)Convert High Voltage Levels in Power Converters to Low Level, Low ImpedanceSignals that can be Used for Accurate and Safe TestMeasurementsClosed-Loop Hall Current TransducersProvide an Analog Output Signal Isolatedfrom the Primary Current Circuit• Full-scale Primary Currents from ±100A to ±15,000A• Amplitude Accuracy to ±0.3% at dc• Amplitude Frequency Response dc to 300kHz (-3dB)• Common Mode Primary Voltage Isolation• Split Core Versions Available (±2% at dc)Suitable for Production Line Testingwhere Long-term Stability andReliability are CriticalClosed-Loop Fluxgate Current TransducersGenerate a Very High-Accuracy Output Signalwith Electrical Isolation from the Primary Circuit• Full-scale Primary Currents from ±60A to ±1,000A• Amplitude Linearity to ±0.3ppm at dc• Amplitude Frequency Response dc to 300kHz (-3dB)• Very Low Noise to

CALENDARSEMINARS: DimensionalNov 19-20 Hands-On Gage Calibration and Repair Workshop.Minneapolis, MN. 26-28 Dimensional Measurement Training: Level 1 -Measurement User. Coventry, UK. 26-29 Dimensional Measurement Training: Level 2 -Measurement Applier. Telford, UK. 3-5 Dimensional Measurement Training: Level 1 -Measurement User. Telford, UK. 4-6 Hands-On Gage. Elk Grove, IL. The Mitutoyo Institute ofMetrology. 6-7 Hands-On Gage Calibration and Repair Workshop.Clearwater Beach, FL (Tampa Area). 10-11 Hands-On Gage Calibration and Repair Workshop.Atlanta, GA. 10-12 Dimensional Measurement Training: Level 1 -Measurement User. Coventry, UK. 10-11 Hands-On Gage Calibration and Repair Workshop.Minnetonka, OHMLABSshuntsAD.8.10_Layout MN. 10/4/11 1:11 PM Page 2Jan 22-23 Hands-On Gage Calibration and Repair Workshop.Kansas City, MO. 28-29 Hands-On Gage Calibration and Repair Workshop.Schaumburg, IL. 12-13 Hands-On Gage Calibration and Repair Workshop.Detroit, MI. 14-15 Hands-On Gage Calibration and Repair Workshop.Cleveland, OH. ElectricalDec 13-14 Essential Electrical Metrology. Los Angeles, CA. Flow & PressureJan 28-Feb 1 Principles of Pressure Calibration. Phoenix, AZ.Fluke Calibration. 25-Mar 1 Principles of Pressure Calibration. Phoenix, AZ.Fluke Calibration. 15-19 Advance Piston Gauge Metrology. Phoenix, AZ. CURRENT SHUNTS• HIGH ACCURACY• DC TO 10 KHZ*• LOW TCR• STABLE OVER TIME• OPTIONAL TEMPERATURE SENSOR• ISO17025 ACCREDITED CALIBRATIONMODEL ACCURACY MODEL ACCURACYCS-01 < 0.005% CS-100 < 0.01%CS-1 < 0.005% CS-200 < 0.025%CS-5 < 0.01% CS-300 < 0.03%CS-10 < 0.01% CS-500 < 0.05%CS-20 < 0.01% CS-1000 < 0.05%CS-50 < 0.01% MCS MULTIPLESTANDARD MODELS LISTED; CUSTOM VALUES AVAILABLE.*UP TO CS-300 TYPESEE WWW.OHM-LABS.COM FOR DETAILS611 E. CARSON ST. PITTSBURGH, PA 15203TEL 412-431-0640 FAX 412-431-0649WWW.OHM-LABS.COMCal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology6 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

EdisonMudcatsTMMetrology SoftwareCOMPREHENSIVE SOFTWAREFOR TODAY’S METROLOGY CHALLENGESCALIBRATION TOOLSCalibration Data CollectionAutomation and ScriptingGPIB/RS-232 Automated Data SheetsAutomatic OOT DetectionMulti-Channel Data CollectionCommunicate with other Softwarevia COMENGINEERING TOOLSSpecification TrackingAutomated EMU/TAR/TURInterval AnalysisStandards Failure AnalysisConformance TestingGuard BandingReverse Traceability to TestPoint LevelREPORTING TOOLSIntegrated Custom ReportsReport Management SystemMultiple Alternate User ReportsTurn-around Time ReportsMargin ReportsMANAGEMENT TOOLSProduction TrackingStatus and SchedulingWorkload Planning/ManagementVendor TrackingIntralab CommunicationsCustomer Status ReportsCalibration Asset ManagementProcess ControlStandards Utilization TrackingADMINISTRATION TOOLSRobust Security and Audit TrailDocuments/ReportsShipping and Invoicing FunctionsRevision ControlCalibration Cost TrackingPaperless Calibration HistoryRemote OperationGENERAL FEATURESU.S. Patent #7406388Barcode CompatibleE-Sign Password Transaction ProtectionIntegrated Email ProfilesCall Us Today: 800-266-2299Or Visit Online:

CALENDARSEMINARS: GeneralDec 3-7 Calibration Lab Operations / Understanding ISO 17025.Technology Training Inc. 10-12 Cal Lab Training; Beyond 17025. Los Angeles, CA. Mass & WeightDec 3 Intermediate Metrology Seminar. Gaitersburg, MD.Sponsored by NIST Office of Weights and Measures.Prerequisite: Basic Metrology seminar. 28 Volume Metrology. Gaitersburg, MD. Sponsored by NISTOffice of Weights and Measures. Prerequisites: Fundamentalsof Metrology Seminar AND the Mass Metrology Seminar. Measurement UncertaintyNov 13-15 Measurement Uncertainty Workshop. Fenton, MI.QUAMETEC Institute of Measurement Technology. http:// 27-28 Estimating Measurement Uncertainty. Boston, MA.The Mitutoyo Institute of Metrology. http://www.mitutoyo.comSEMINARS: TemperatureMar 5-7 Infrared Temperature Metrology. American Fork, UT.Fluke Calibration, 11-13 Principles of Temperature Metrology. American Fork,UT. VibrationNov 14-16 Fundamentals of Random Vibration and ShockTesting, HALT, ESS, HASS (...). Plano, TX. 20-22 Fundamentals of Random Vibration and ShockTesting, HALT, ESS, HASS (...). Santa Barbara, CA. www.callabmag.comfor upcoming and future events!HIGH VOLTAGECALIBRATION LABCustom Design is our Specialty!DESIGN, MANUFACTURE, TEST &CALIBRATE:• HV VOLTAGE DIVIDERS• HV PROBES• HV RELAYS• HV AC & DC HIPOTS• HV DIGITAL VOLTMETERS• HV CONTACTORS• HV CIRCUIT BREAKERS• HV RESISTIVE LOADS• SPARK GAPS• FIBER OPTIC SYSTEMSISO/IEC 17025:2005CALIBRATION CERT #2746.01ISO 9001:2008QMS CERTIFIEDHV LAB CALIBRATION CAPABILITIES:• UP TO 450kV PEAK 60Hz• UP TO 400kV DC• UP TO 400kV 1.2x50μSLIGHTNING IMPULSEHV LAB CALIBRATION STANDARDSISO/IEC 17025:2005 ACCREDITEDISO 9001:2008 QMS CERTIFIEDN.I.S.T. TRACEABILITYN.R.C. TRACEABILITYHigh Voltage Dividers & ProbesROSS ENGINEERING CORPORATION540 Westchester Dr. Campbell, CA 95008www.rossengineeringcorp.com408-377-4621±Oct • Nov • Dec 20129Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

INDUSTRY AND RESEARCH NEWSMeasure Surface Roughness withYour SmartphoneMahr Federal recently unveiled a revolutionary way tomeasure surfaces. Mahr Federal introduced a new AndroidApp that lets users measure common surface roughnessparameters using their Smartphones and other Androidoperating system devices. The MarSurf® One App interfacesvia Bluetooth with a Mahr RD 18 Drive Unit and probe tomeasure the most popular roughness parameters, includingRa, Rz, Rmax, Rt, and Rq. Resulting profiles can be zoomedusing multi-finger gestures for instant analysis; saved;converted to PDF files; synched; or emailed for display andanalysis on other devices such as PCs.“Using the MarSurf One App with your Smartphone isa very inexpensive, and extremely portable, way to obtainsurface roughness measuring capability,” said Pat Nugent,Vice President Metrology Systems for Mahr Federal. “TheMarSurf One App requires an RD 18 Drive Unit and probe,of course, which come standard with MarSurf M 300 systems.However, by purchasing the RD 18 as a separate unit andusing it with the MarSurf One App, the result is a total systemthat is less expensive than buying an M 300 system.”The MarSurf One App can be downloaded from GooglePlay for Android. A free demo version is available for 7 days,and the full, licensed version can be purchased via the “buybutton” for automatic download. No operator training isrequired as operational elements follow typical and wellknownAndroid user interface styles. The MarSurf One Appuses a standard R-profile filter and measures in accordancewith DIN EN ISO 16610-21 (digital phase correct).Mahr Federal Inc., a member of the Mahr Group, hasbeen providing dimensional measurement solutions to fitcustomer application needs for over 150 years. The companymanufactures and markets a wide variety of dimensionalmetrology equipment, from simple and easy-to-use handheldgages to technically advanced measurement systems forform, contour, surface finish and length. Mahr Federal is alsowell known as a producer of custom-designed gages and aprovider of calibration and contract measurement services.Mahr Federal’s calibration laboratories are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 NVLAP Lab Code 200605-0 (see our Scope ofAccreditation for accredited calibration processes).For more information visit Lab: The International Journal of Metrology10 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

INDUSTRY AND RESEARCH NEWSPML Goes to Mars: Far-Out ThermalCalibrationSometimes the chain of measurementtraceabilitythe unbroken series oflinks between a calibrated instrumentand the official NIST standard can getpretty long. But 250 million kilometersis remarkable, even for NIST.That’s the current distance betweenthe Curiosity rover on Mars and thetemperature labs in Gaithersburg, MD,where the calibration process began forseveral small but critically importanttemperature sensors that monitor therover’s power generator.“They’re all hand-made and handcustomized,”says Chris Albert ofSensing Devices Inc. (SDI) in Lancaster,PA, who designed the sensors to NASAcontractor Teledyne Energy Systemsspecifications. “Each one has to becalibrated, and each one has to haveNIST traceability.”So Albert brought the company’smaster reference thermometer toPML’s Temperature & Humidity (T&H)Group to have it calibrated accordingto the International Temperature Scaleof 1990, the worldwide standard forequipment calibration. For Albert, itwas a familiar process. He and hiscolleagues have been getting calibrationservices from NIST’s thermometryexperts for almost 22 years, and Alberthas worked with Gregory Strouse,T&H group leader in PML’s SensorScience Division, for 20 of those years.SDI makes platinum resistancethermometers (PRTs) for applicationsthat range from regulating commercialEnglish muffin ovens here on Earthto monitoring environmental livingconditions on the International SpaceStation.PRTs work because the electricalresistance of platinum (like variousother metals) varies in a linear way withtemperature. Measuring the changein resistance is a straightforward andhighly accurate way of measuringtemperature. The platinum is typicallyformed into a coil to maximize itsresistance per unit length, and coveredby protective layers of ceramic andglass. Different PRT designs havePML physicist Michal Chojnacky (right) demonstrates the method used to calibrateplatinum resistance thermometers. At left is sensor designer Chris Albert.different resistance values which canbe characterized at two or more welldefinedcalibration points, usually 0 °Cand 100 °C.Four SDI PRTs, based on three ofAlbert’s designs, are used on Curiosity,and range from 100 ohms to 500 ohms at0 °C. “The higher the ohmic value,” hesays, “the easier it is for the electronicsto use less power and still get the sameprecision.” The SDI sensors are usedto track the temperature inside therover’s Multi-Mission RadioisotopeThermoelectric Generator, which usesthermocouples to convert the heat fromradioactive plutonium-238 into about125 watts of electrical power.The SDI PRTs, which measure atemperature range from 200 °C upto 661 °C, had to be made very smallto fit the specifications for insertioninto the generator. The longest is aboutthe size of a wooden matchstick, andeach contains 490 windings of 0.18 mmplatinum wire over a 15 mm length.The windings and electrical leads areenclosed in tubes of 99.8% pure aluminaceramic.When Albert first began workingwith PRTs, “I had no background inthermometry. NIST trained me back in1991,” he says, “and I’ve been comingthere ever since. That relationship hasbeen, by far, the deciding factor in ourbeing able to satisfy our customer’srequirements.”Not that he always knows immediatelywhether the customer is satisfied. In thecase of the rover sensors, “they weredesigned and sold in 2006 to TeledyneEnergy Systems, which was makingthe rover generator,” Albert says, “andof course we moved on to numerousother things and never thought muchmore about it. Then on Aug. 15 of thisyear, I got an e-mail from a contact atTeledyne that caught us by surprise. Hesaid something like, ‘By the way, thankyou, your sensors are working on Mars.’And our reaction was, um, what wasthat again? I’m glad he included the partnumber, because we had to look it up.”Source: • Nov • Dec 201211Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

INDUSTRY AND RESEARCH NEWSFormation of European Calibration AssociationFour years of effort to establish a base for theInternational Association of Calibration Laboratoriesin Europe was successfully concluded on TuesdayOctober 23rd, 2012, when chairpersons of the CzechCalibration Association (CKS) Jiri Kazda, GermanCalibration Association (DKD) Peter Ulbig, and SlovakiaCalibration Association (KZSR) Frantisek Drozda signedan agreement that officially constitutes the EuropeanCalibration Association (from this point on referred toas EUROCAL).EUROCAL aims to become a forum for the coordinationand harmonization of cooperation among associations ofcalibration laboratories, primarily (but not exclusively)from EU countries. EUROCAL is a professional interestgroup with its main focus on exchange of informationand knowledge between national associations in the fieldof calibration.A need has been indicated for better representationof calibration laboratories towards the metrology oraccreditation authorities. Similarly, the harmonizationof local calibration guides shall improve the competitiveposition of laboratories on an international scale. Webelieve that EUROCAL will reach the position to addressthese issues and more.Membership at EUROCAL is free of charge and isopen for any national association, group, club, or otherform of calibration lab around Europe. A copy of theEUROCAL agreement, as well as the Accession form andother documents and information are available online and Torque Calibration ServiceLower your test uncertainty ratios by having instrumentscalibrated at a more precise level of measurement certainty: Primary Force and Torque standards accurate to0.002% of applied for most capacities Hassle-Free Calibration Service - Morehousedoes not require RMAʼs and works extensivelyto ensure calibrations are performed in a mannerthat replicates how the instruments are used Force Calibration performed in our laboratory to2,250,000 lbf in compression and 1,200,000 lbfin tension and equivalent SI units Torque Calibration performed in our laboratoryto 1475 ft - lbf and equivalent SI units Calibrations performed in accordance withcustomer specifications, ASTM E74, ISO 376,ASTM E 2428 and BS 7882ISO 17025 AccreditedAmerican Association of LaboratoryAccreditation Calibration Cert 1398.01Prompt Delivery of 5-7 Days on Most Items. Expedited Service AvailableMOREHOUSE FORCE & TORQUE CALIBRATION LABORATORIESPhone: 717-843-0081 / Fax: 717-846-4193 / / e-mail: hzumbrun@mhforce.comINSTRUMENT COMPANY, INC.1742 Sixth Avenue ¥ York, PA USACal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology12 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICESYokogawa Eight-channelMixed-Signal OscilloscopeThe new Yokogawa DLM4000 is theindustry’s only eight-channel mixedsignaloscilloscope. Combining the largescreen and eight-channel capabilityof Yokogawa’s earlier eight-channelDL7480 oscilloscope with the mixedsignaltechnology of the company’spioneering DLM2000 Series, the newinstrument is ideally suited to test anddebug applications in the embeddedsystems, power electronics, mechatronicsand automotive sectors.The DLM4000 Series is comprisedof two models with bandwidths of 350and 500 MHz and a sampling rate of1.25 GSa/s (gigasamples per second),expandable to 2.5 GSa/s with interleaving.The inputs can be allocated as eightanalog channels or seven analog channels,plus one 8-bit digital input. A futurelogic-expansion option will offer sixteenadditional channels of logic for a totalof seven channels of analog input withsimultaneous 24-bit digital input.The new instruments featureexceptionally long memory (up to 62.5M points per channel and 125 M pointsin interleave mode), allowing both longrecordings and multiple waveforms tobe acquired. A history memory function,which does not reduce the oscilloscope’shigh waveform acquisition rate, allows upto 20,000 previously captured waveformsto be saved in the acquisition memory,with any one or all of them displayedon screen for cursor measurements to becarried out. Waveforms can be displayedone at a time, in order, or automaticallyplayed back, paused, fast-forwardedor rewound. The history memory incombination with the advanced waveformsearch features enable users to capture andsee the details of anomalies on individualwaveforms when their characteristics arestill unknown.Advanced measurement and analysisfeatures include histogram and trendingfunctions, digital filtering, zoom windows,user-defined mathematics and serial busanalysis.The instruments incorporate a large(12.1-inch) high-resolution XGA display,and yet are housed in a compact body,which is less than 18 cm deep and weighsjust 6.5 kg, similar to smaller 4-channeloscilloscopes. The display is enhancedby a fine grid, high luminance andviewing angle, and on-screen markerswith simultaneous display of cursorsand automatic parameters. Other featuresinclude backlit buttons, additional knobsand jog shuttle, on-screen informationin English, German, French, Italian andSpanish languages, two zoom windowswith 80:20 or 50:50 zoom/main area split,and a choice of first-cycle or screen averagemode for frequency measurement.The DLM4000 Series comes with avariety of easy-to-configure triggerscombining analog and logic inputs suchas edge, enhanced and B-triggers. Theseinclude dedicated trigger functions forFlexRay, CAN, LIN, UART, I2C and SPIserial bus patterns, as well as the abilityto perform simultaneous analyses ontwo different buses operating at differentspeeds. This capability is enhanced by theextensive search facilities, allowing theuser to look for specific data in the verylong memory.For further information about theeight-channel DLM4000 Mixed-SignalOscilloscope, visit CompactPressure TransducerThe new Heise® Model HPK compactpressure transducer brings renownedHeise® dependability and precision toan affordable, analog output device. Soldunder the Heise® brand, the HPK compactpressure transducer combines highdurability with unusually high accuracyin a small, stainless steel enclosure.Available with a choice of pressureand electrical connections, the HPK offerseither current or voltage outputs to indicatereadings from vacuum through 20,000psig and absolute ranges to 150 psia. Allwelded stainless steel construction ensuresdurability and media compatibility, whilean advanced sensor design delivers longterm stability and ±0.15% F.S. accuracy.Each Heise® Model HPK pressuretransducer is authenticated with a ninepointNIST traceable calibration report.Product website: • Nov • Dec 201213Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICESBracke Phase TrimmersBracke Manufacturing, LLC, a leading manufacturer of RF &Microwave components based in Irvine California, is pleasedto announce the release of a new High Performance series ofPhase Trimmers with working frequency range from 50 MHzto 18 GHz. The Bracke Manufacturing phase trimmers aredesigned for applications where phase matching between cablesor test equipment is critical to system performance. At elevatedfrequencies discrete changes in phase can require minute physicaladjustment in the length of the electrical path. The phase trimmersenable the engineer or technician to make precise adjustment tothe phase without otherwise degrading the signal. These threadedPhase Trimmers offer extremely low VSWR of 1.3:1 thru 18 GHz,low insertion loss, smooth continuous adjustment and come withlocking nuts.The phase shift is accomplished by having a turnbuckle stylesleeve having an open interior cylindrical wall surface withopposite open ends of the interior wall surface having threadsof equal but opposite pitch. A central conductor comprising oftelescoping male and female connectors each having means forconnection to one of the center conductors of a coaxial cable. Thephase adjustment range is 10 degrees x Frequency in GHz.Impedance is 50 Ohms with an operating temperature range from-40 to +120 C. All Bracke phase trimmers feature bodies madeof passivated stainless steel per QQ-S-764 TYPE 303, contactsmanufactured with beryllium copper per QQ-C-530 plated goldper MIL-G-45204: TYPE II along with PTFE insulators per MIL-P-19468A. All connector interfaces are per MIL-STD-38 & MIL-39012. The devices have been tested for thermal shock, moistureresistance, vibration and shock.Bracke Manufacturing, LLC’s standard Phase Trimmers areavailable off the self for immediate delivery starting at $159.95 inquantities less than 25 pieces. Custom phase shifters utilizing otherconnector types along with direct cable attachment are availabletypically within 2 weeks or less. For more information, please seeour web site or call our customer service ortechnical departments at 949-756-1600.Solutions In CalibrationIs Your LaboratoryCalibrating.....Meggers?..InsulationTesters?..HiPots?DID YOU KNOW?Major Electrical Utilities,The World’s leading Manufacturer,and Test Equipment Rental Companies all rely on....Solutions In CalibrationTransmille’s 3200 Electrical Test CalibratorTransmille Ltd. (Worldwide)Web: www. transmille.comE-mail: sales@transmille.comPhone: +44(0)1580 890700Transmille Calibration (The Americas)Web: www. transmillecalibration.comE-mail: sales@transmillecalibration.comPhone: +(802) 846 7582Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology14 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICESPTB Ultra-Low-NoisePreamplifierThe ultra-low-noise preamplifier developed by PTBconsiderably reduces measurement uncertainties, e.g., forthe traceability of impedance standards. This preamplifier ischaracterized by the fact that selected field effect transistorsare connected in parallel at the input; these have the lowestpossible noise current and noise voltage values. The circuitis designed in such a way that a stable standby current isgenerated by the input transistors and also that the drainresistance is increased dynamically. In this way, the noise ofthe pre-stage can be optimally adapted to that of the mainstage. This guarantees very low noise. The optimized feedbacknetwork adjusts a stable gain. This novel circuit concept enablesthe so far unprecedented combination of an input noise voltagesmaller than 0.5 nV, an input noise current smaller than 5 fAand an input impedance of 1 GΩ parallel to approx. 100 pF(stated for a noise bandwidth of 1 Hz at a measuring frequencyof 1 kHz). A license is available; for further information, PTBnews, English edition, Issue August 2012.Cal Lab Mag 6.5x4.75_2012 5/23/12 2:36 PM Page 1Mensor CPC8000 PrecisionPressure ControllerThe New CPC 8000 Precision Pressure Controller is Mensor’shighest performance pressure calibrator/controller, designed toautomate testing of pressure transmitters, pressure transducers,field pressure calibrators, pressure gauges and pressure sensorsof all kinds. Percent of reading uncertainty can be achieved overa wide range with three removable transducers and a barometricreference.The CPC 8000 has a modern look, a large HD color touch screen,a command set emulation mode, IEEE-488 / USB / Ethernet/ RS-232remote interfaces, a unique needle valve pressure control system,and quiet operation. Calibration of the removable sensors can beachieved remotely using the optional calibration sled.The CPC 8000 was designed with the operator in mind. Access tocommonly used features and functions is easily achieved throughthe color touch screen. A choice of 10 languages are available simplyby pressing the desired language within the language setup menu.Operators can automate operation of the CPC 8000 by usingan internal sequence application or by programming a commandsequence in an external application. Standard Mensor commands,SCPI commands or emulation command sets are available.Company website: calibration and adjustment.HygroGen2• Generates stable humidity and temperature conditions• Increased calibration productivity• Stable humidity values within 5 to 10 minutes• Calibrates up to 5 sensors simultaneously• Integrated sample loop for use with Reference Hygrometers• Integrated desiccant cell and digital water level monitoring• Easy-to-use graphical user interfaceVisit for more information or call 631-427-3898.ROTRONIC Instrument Corp, 135 Engineers Road, Hauppauge, NY 11788, USA, sales@rotronic-usa.comOct • Nov • Dec 201215Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICESCal Lab Solutions PS-Cal SupportsBoonton SensorsCal Lab Solutions, Inc., a metrologysoftware and consulting company announcesits expanding support of power sensorsunder its power sensor calibration software(PS-Cal).Originally developed as a drop-inreplacement for the HP 11760S power sensorcalibration system software, PS-Cal supportslegacy and current Agilent sensors. PS-Cal isdesigned to perform all of the required testson power sensors including rho, cal factor,and linearity. Options include support forAnritsu, Tegam, and now Boonton sensors.PS-Cal is a stand-alone solution, designedfor flexibility and expandability. It ships withseveral test standard routines and allowsfor additional customized test routineswith uncertainty calculations to be easilyintegrated. For more information or call (303) 317-6670 (MST).Rohde & Schwarz ESREMI Test ReceiverThe new R&S ESR test receiver isavailable in two different models forfrequencies ranging from 10 Hz to 3 GHzor 7 GHz to meet the requirements of allusers who perform EMC certification oncommercial equipment. The R&S ESRcovers all commercial standards relevantfor test houses and EMC labs used byelectrical equipment manufacturers andtheir suppliers.The R&S ESR from Rohde & Schwarzis yet another example of the company’stechnology leadership in the field of EMItest receivers. The test receiver featurestime domain scan, an FFT-based receivertechnology that allows it to performmeasurements up to 6000 times fasterthan other EMI test receivers. StandardcompliantEMC measurements which tookhours in the past can now be completed injust seconds, saving users valuable timeon the way to obtaining desired results.This measurement method offers greatadvantages when the DUT can only beoperated for short periods for testing.The R&S ESR opens up totally newanalysis capabilities. The spectrogramfunction seamlessly displays theanalyzed spectrum over time and recordsmeasurements for up to five hours, allowingdevelopers to detect sporadic interferers.The frequency mask trigger responds tospecific events in a spectrum. If the maskis violated, a trigger is activated. Themeasurement is stopped, and the user cananalyze the exact cause and effect of theinterferer. The persistence mode allowsusers to clearly differentiate between pulseinterferers and continuous interference.It displays the probability distribution ofoccurring frequencies and amplitudes invarious colors, making it possible to detectinterferers that are hidden by broadbandsignals.R&S ESR also offers conventionalstepped frequency scan so the user cancompare with existing results. The testreceiver is also a full-featured spectrumanalyzer and offers proven tools such as IFanalysis and time domain display, e.g. forclick rate analysis.The R&S ESR also scores top marks forease of operation and its clearly structuredtouchscreen. The various measurementmodes are distinctly separated and userscan easily configure complex measurementsand automated test sequences directly onthe touchscreen.The test receiver’s applicationspectrum is as versatile as its diagnosticscapabilities. The R&S ESR makes it easyto perform acceptance testing (conductedor radiated) in line with EN/CISPR/FCC on modules, assemblies, householdappliances, IT equipment, TVs, radios,etc. In the automotive sector, the R&S ESRis ideal for acceptance testing of vehiclesand accessories in line with automobilemanufacturer guidelines, also for mobileapplications thanks to the DC operationoption. For more information, visit • Nov • Dec 201217Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICESFluke Calibration 5502A Multi-ProductCalibratorFluke Calibration, a leader in precision calibrationinstrumentation and software, introduces the 5502A Multi-Product Calibrator, a multi-functional calibrator that covers awide range of common workload. The 5502A has the best fullrange of functions and accuracy in its class.The Fluke Calibration 5502A features:• 11 full functions, enabling calibration of 3.5 and 4.5digits digital multimeters• 50 ppm dc V accuracy• ac and dc current to 20A• Optional oscilloscope calibration to 600 MHz• Reverse power protection on the output terminalsfor “mistake proof” protection against common usererrors• Easily transported with an optional rugged carryingcase featuring built-in handles and wheels, andremovable front/rear access doors for in-situcalibration in almost any environmentThe 5502A sources direct voltage and current; alternatingvoltage and current with multiple waveforms and harmonics;two simultaneous outputs to simulate dc and ac power withphase control, resistance, capacitance, thermocouples and RTDs.The 5502A can be fully automated with MET/CAL® PlusCalibration Management Software to improve throughput,consistency and productivity. MET/CAL Plus helps meet therequirements for documented processes, procedures and reportsmandated by most quality standards.For more information on the Fluke Calibration 5502A Multi-Product Calibrator, visit: Technologies Handheld Digital Multimeterfor Extreme Winter WeatherAgilent Technologies Inc. recently announced the U1273AXOLED handheld digital multimeter, which can operate intemperatures as low as -40 C. Even in such frigid conditions,the new handheld DMM provides accurate results with nowarm-up time required.Although the Agilent U1273AX excels in the wintertime,it remains useful throughout the year with an operatingtemperature range that extends up to 55 C. Coupling thisrange with IP54 water and dust resistance, plus a CAT IV/600V safety rating, creates a robust tool that will help users keeptheir operations running smoothly in demanding industrial andelectrical applications.When paired with the U1583B AC current clamp, theU1273AX supports current measurements without breakingthe circuit under test. The U1583B also functions down to -40 C.The U1273AX presents 4½-digit resolution on an OLEDdisplay that provides crystal-clear readings with a 2000-to-1 contrast ratio and 160-degree viewing angle. Advancedcapabilities include a low-impedance mode that reduces ghostvoltages from capacitive coupling, and a low-pass filter thateliminates switching noise from motor-drive measurements.For wireless connectivity to smartphones and tablets, theU1273AX is compatible with the innovative U1177A infraredto-Bluetoothadapter and the associated remote-monitoringprograms that support Agilent’s entire line of handheld DMMs.This unique capability enables use of an Android device towirelessly monitor and control the U1273AX from the warmthand safety of a nearby vehicle or structure.Information about the U1273AX is available at Quick Vision WLIMitutoyo America Corporation announces release of thenew Quick Vision® WLI vision measuring machine. Besides anoptical vision head, the Quick Vision® WLI also incorporatesa white light interferometer (WLI) head. Together these headsenable high accuracy performance of non-contact vision plusnon-contact 3D measurement of high aspect-ratio minuteform (Z = Sub µm ~ 100µm) functions in a single machine -eliminating the need to move a workpiece from one type ofmachine to another.As a result, the Quick Vision® WLI offers a significantthroughput improvement for non-contact measurement ofitems combining both 2D and minute form 3D features in asingle workpiece - example subjects could include IC chipsand packages, hybrid chassis, lead frames, and many types ofprecision machined and molded parts.The Quick Vision® WLI interferometer head splits a beamof white light in two; one beam goes towards a reference mirrorand the other beam goes to the workpiece. As the referenceobjective is moved along the Z-axis, a white “interference ring”is observed on the focus point; analysis of this ring makesit possible to determine the 3D shape of the feature underobservation.The Quick Vision® WLI performs 2D/3D form evaluationusing Mitutoyo FORMPAK-QV/FORMTRACEPAK-PROsoftware which features a refined, intuitive GUI. Results can bedisplayed in 2D/3D graphics for easy interpretation; a varietyof editing and control tools are standard.In addition, new Quick Vision® WLI 2D/3D non-contactmeasuring machines can support output to measurement dataapplications such as MeasurLink®, Mitutoyo’s proprietarystatistical-processing and process-control program whichperforms statistical analysis and provides real-time displayof measurement results for SPC applications. The programcan also be linked to a higher-level network environment forenterprise-wide functionality.Company website: Lab: The International Journal of Metrology18 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

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NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICESAgilent Technologies Large-Scale Active AntennaCalibration and TestingAgilent Technologies Inc. recently introduced the industry’swidest-bandwidth real-time digital downconverter option onthe M9703A AXIe eight-channel high-speed digitizer. The newDDC functionality enables faster, more flexible measurementsin high-channel-count applications.In many multi-antenna applications such as radar, directionfindingand satellite beam-forming, phase-coherent acquisitionchannels are critical for accurate data acquisition, whetherfor antenna calibration or channel sounding. Traditional testplatforms are generally limited to measurements involvingsinusoids, which preclude testing with broader band signals,such as multitone or live signals.For such complex signals, the exclusive real-time processingalgorithm of Agilent’s new DDC functionality enables phasecoherentmeasurements across eight input channels.With a frequency range of DC to 2 GHz and a sampling rateof 1.6 GS/s, the M9703A-DDC digitizer option provides tuningand zooming capabilities to analyze these signals of interest. TheDDC programmable decimation ratio and fine IF tuning allowusers to set the bandwidth and center frequency to match theanalyzed signal. Real-time decimation allows users to analyzebandwidth from 300 MHz down to less than 1 kHz, reduces thenoise level, improves the dynamic range by 3 dB per decimationstep, and extends the capture time.For advanced measurement analysis, the M9703A AXIe highspeeddigitizer is compatible with Agilent’s 89600 Vector SignalAnalysis software, the industry’s standard for signal analysisand demodulation.The M9703A AXIe digitizer, combined with an Agilent twoslotor five-slot AXIe chassis, allows users to easily scale upthe number of parallel acquisition channels without the useof switches, reaching up to 40 channels in only 4U of rackmountspace using five digitizers. This enables simultaneousacquisition of data on a large number of channels under dynamicconditions, reducing test and calibration time by days and evenweeks, while improving overall test efficiency and cutting costs.The Agilent M9703A digitizer with the DDC option is alsouseful in electronic warfare and MIMO applications thatneed simultaneous wide-bandwidth and high dynamic-rangemeasurements on multiple channels.More information about product configurations and pricingis available at Calibration 7526A Precision ProcessCalibratorFluke Calibration, a leader in precision calibrationinstrumentation and software, introduces the 7526A PrecisionProcess Calibrator, which combines versatility, precision, andvalue into a single benchtop process calibrator. The 7526Asimplifies calibration of temperature and pressure processinstrumentation by incorporating an isolated measurementchannel, allowing users to source and measure simultaneously.Easily calibrate RTD and thermocouple readouts, pressuregauges, temperature and pressure transmitters, digital processsimulators, data loggers, multimeters and more.In today’s competitive global markets, precise pressure andtemperature process control is required to maintain productquality, reduce waste, cut manufacturing costs, and ensurecompliance to regulatory standards. The 7526A PrecisionProcess Calibrator puts all the necessary tools for regularprocess instrumentation calibration into one box.The calibrator simulates and measures nine RTD and thirteenthermocouple types, accurately measures pressure to within0.008 percent of reading when combined with Fluke 525A-PSeries Pressure Modules, sources and measures dc voltagefrom 0 to 100 V to within 0.004 percent of reading, sources dccurrent from 0 mA to 100 mA, accurately measures dc currentto within 0.01 percent from 0 mA to 50 mA, and supplies 24 Vdc loop power.For more information, visit: Lab: The International Journal of Metrology20 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

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METROLOGY 101Millimeter Wave Connector CareAgilent TechnologiesConnectors, adapters, and calibration standards in the millimeter-wave frequency range (26 GHz to 70 GHz) are VERYexpensive. Although all connectors eventually wear, with knowledge, care, and proper technique, you can easily maximizethe accuracy, repeatability, and useful lifetime of coaxial connectors.What Mates With WhatThe outer conductor size of these connectors prevents themating of incompatible connectors. Connectors in each ofthe similarly-shaded areas below have the same size outerconductor and therefore can safely be mated together.However, damage to connectors occurs from wear, lackof cleaning, improper connection techniques, and poorhandling techniques. When mated, a damaged connectorcan cause another connector to also become damaged.Therefore, clean and inspect all connectors before mating.In addition, up to three different grades in each connectortype are usually available. Production grade connectors candamage metrology grade connectors when mated.The first five connector types in the table below use an airdielectric. The name of a connector (ex: 1.85) is determinedby the diameter of the air dielectric. This, along with thenotes in the following table, is the easiest way to identifythese connector types.Note: SMA is a common and inexpensive connectortype, but its lack of precision affects durability andperformance, and can cause increased wear when matedwith precision connectors. SMA connectors are only ratedfor a very limited number of connection cycles and shouldbe examined before each use.Connector Type Frequency Range Mates with... Notes1.0 mm To 110 GHz 1.0 mm Much smaller connector than any of those below.1.85 mm To 70 GHz 2.4 mm2.4 mm To 50 GHz 1.85 mmThe outer thread size of the 1.85 and 2.4connectors is bigger than SMA, 3.5, and 2.92.This makes the area of the outer conductormating surface look very large compared tothe relatively small air dielectric.The 1.85 mm connector that is manufacturedat Agilent has a groove in the male nut andfemale shoulder to distinguish these twoconnector types.2.92 mm To 40 GHz 3.5 mm and SMAThese two connectors use the samecenter pin.3.5 mm To 34 GHz 2.92 mm and SMASMA To 24 GHz 2.92 mm and 3.5 mm Uses a PTFE dielectric.Oct • Nov • Dec 201223Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

METROLOGY 101Type-NAlthough technically not amillimeter-range connector, the Type-Nconnector is very popular and worth amention. The high-frequency limit ofthe Type-N is 18 GHz. With Type-N,the outer conductor mating plane isoffset from the center conductor matingplane as seen in the image (Figure 1).Figure 1. Type N connector.The mechanical specificationsgive a maximum protrusion of thefemale contact fingers from theouter conductor mating plane, and aminimum recession of the shoulder ofthe male contact pin behind the outerconductor mating plane.As the connectors wear, theprotrusion of the female contact fingersgenerally increases due to wear of theouter conductor mating plane. Thisdecreases the total center conductorcontact separation between the matedpair. Damage to the connectors willoccur, and measurement accuracy willdeteriorate, when there is a possibilityof interference between the shoulder ofthe male contact pin and the tip of thefemale contact fingers.In addition, the Type-N 75 Ω centerconductors are smaller than the Type-N50 Ω connectors. Therefore, the twocan never be mated as the male 50 Ωconnector will permanently destroy a75 Ω female connector.Use Connector SaversThe small size and precise geometryof mmWave connectors means thatthey are more delicate and more costlythan the larger connectors used atlower frequencies. Millimeter-waveanalyzers often have male connectorson their front panels to encourage usersto semi-permanently attach a femaleto-femaleadapter as a connector saver.Measurement cables and test devicesare then attached to the connectorsaver.The connector saver can be easilyreplaced after it becomes worn ordamaged with far less cost and downtimethan replacing the test portconnector on the test instrument.Be sure to fully inspect the connectorsaver before connecting to the testinstrument.Because the calibration standardsare connected to the connector saver,it should be instrument grade or better.Inspecting ConnectorsBecause of the very small and precisemechanical tolerances of mmWaveconnectors, minor defects, damage,and dirt can significantly degraderepeatability and accuracy. In addition,a dirty or damaged connector candestroy connectors that are mated to it.For this reason, NEVER use a damagedconnector.• Wear a grounded wrist straphaving a 1 MΩ series resistor.• Use a >10X magnifying glass.A trained, naked eye willnormally notice defects in aconnector, but many times it isnecessary to use a magnifyingglass to observe more subtledefects such as small fibers,bent pins, and damagedfemale slotless connectors.• Inspect BOTH connectors tobe mated for the following:Threads• The connector nuts shouldmove smoothly.• All threads should be free ofburrs, loose metal particles,and rough spots.• Damaged threads willusually cause metal flakes tobe deposited into other partsof the connector, causingsevere damage.Outer Conductor Mating Surface• Inspect for deep scratches,evidence of misalignment, orexcess torque.• Deep scratches generallyindicate that one or both of themating surfaces was not cleanor has a high spot or burr.• Any scratch that goesthrough the plating shouldbe carefully inspected undermagnification to see if thescratch has left a high spotof displaced metal. This willdamage other connectors.Center Conductor• Male pins should be straight andcentered appropriately to engagethe female contact.• Female contacts should all bestraight and aligned.• Light burnishing of the matingplane surface consisting ofuniform, shallow concentricscratches distributed evenly overthe plated surface is normal.Cleaning ConnectorsSafety reminders - When cleaningconnectors:• Always use protectiveeyewear when usingcompressed air or nitrogen.• Keep isopropyl alcoholaway from heat, sparks, andflame. Use with adequateventilation. Avoid contactwith eyes, skin, and clothing.• Avoid electrostatic discharge(ESD). Wear a groundedwrist strap having a 1 MΩseries resistor when cleaningdevice, cable, or test portconnectors.• Cleaning connectors withalcohol should only be donewith the instruments powercord removed, and in a wellventilatedarea. Allow allresidual alcohol moisture toevaporate, and the fumes todissipate prior to energizingthe instrument.Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology24 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

METROLOGY 101Procedure1. Use clean, low-pressure air to remove looseparticles from mating plane surfaces and threads.Avoid directing the air directly into the connector,which will force the debris into the connector, butpass air over the end of the connector as you wouldwhen blowing a flute. After air cleaning, inspectthe connector thoroughly. If additional cleaningis required, continue with the following steps.2. Moisten - do not saturate - a lint-free swabwith isopropyl alcohol. Excellent results can beachieved by using a 1.2 mm toothpick wrappedwith a single layer of lint-free cloth.3. Connectors should be cleaned in a way that willminimize the wicking of the solvent into theconnector. Wicking of the solvent causes severalproblems. It can carry contaminants such as oiland microscopic dirt into the connector structureand affect the RF performance. This placesthe contaminants where they cannot be easilyremoved. Solvents in the connector also changethe SWR of the connector until the solvent hasevaporated. Hold the connector with the matingface down to reduce the wicking effect.4. Clean any contamination and debris from matingplane surfaces and threads. When cleaning interiorsurfaces, avoid exerting pressure on the centerconductor. Especially avoid the female centerconductor as fibers can become trapped in thecontact fingers.5. Let alcohol evaporate, then use compressed air toblow surfaces clean.6. Inspect the connector. Make sure no particles orresidue remains.7. If defects are still visible after cleaning, theconnector itself may be damaged and should notbe used. Determine the cause of damage beforemaking further connections.Gauging ConnectorsBecause coaxial connector mechanical tolerances can bevery precise, even a perfectly clean connector can causetrouble if out of mechanical specification.Important - Connector Gauge AccuracyHand-held connector gauges are only capable ofperforming coarse measurements on mmWave connectors.This is due to the uncertainties of the measurementversus the extremely precise mechanical tolerances of theconnectors. Only special gauging processes performedin a calibration lab can accurately verify the mechanicalcharacteristics of these devices. Therefore, before makingpin depth measurements, it is necessary to know theuncertainty of your gauge and the specifications ofthe connector you are gauging. You may not be ableto definitively determine if your connector is withinspecifications - only to identify gross failures.When to Gauge a connector:• Before you use it for the first time.• If either visual inspection or electrical performancesuggests that the connector interface may be outof specification.• If someone else uses the device.• If you use the device on another piece of equipment.• Routinely: initially after every 100 connections,and after that as often as experience suggests.Note: Gauge 2.4 mm, 3.5 mm, and SMA connectors moreoften than other connectors because the center pins can pullout during disconnect.Making a Connection1. Wear a grounded wrist strap having a 1 MΩ seriesresistor.2. Inspect, clean, and gauge connectors to ensure thatall connectors are undamaged, clean, and withinmechanical specification.3. Carefully align center axis of both devices. Pushthe connectors straight together so they can engagesmoothly. The male center conductor pin mustslip concentrically into the contact finger of thefemale connector.Oct • Nov • Dec 201225Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

METROLOGY 101HOLDFigure 2.CORRECTMETHODINCORRECTMETHOD(TOO MUCH LIFT)4. CRITICAL: Rotate only the connector nut - NOTTHE DEVICE OR CONNECTOR BODY - untilfinger-tight, being careful not to cross the threads.Damage to both connectors will occur if the malecenter pin is allowed to rotate in the female contactfingers.5. Use a torque wrench to make final connection.Tighten until the “break” point of the torquewrench is reached. Do not push beyond initialbreak point. Use additional wrench, if needed, toprevent device body from turning.Using a Torque WrenchProper torque on the connector improves measurementrepeatability and extends connector life. The tighteningtorque on connectors has a significant effect onmeasurements at mm-wave frequencies. Repeatablemeasurements require consistent torque on all theconnections in a setup. A torque wrench avoids damagedue to over-tightening and helps connectors achieve theirrated lifetimes (refer to Figure 2).1. Make sure torque wrench is set to the correcttorque setting.2. Position torque wrench, and a second wrench tohold the device or cable, within 90° of each otherbefore applying force.3. Support the devices to avoid putting stress on theconnectors.4. Hold torque wrench lightly at the end of handle.Then apply force perpendicular to the torquewrench handle. Tighten until the “break” point ofthe torque wrench is reached. Do not push beyondinitial break point.Separating a Connection• Support the devices to avoid any twisting, rockingor bending force on either connector.• Use an open-end wrench to prevent the devicebody from turning.• Use another open-end wrench to loosen theconnector nut.• Complete the disconnection by hand, turning onlythe connector nut.• Pull the connectors straight apart.The preceding article is a condensed version of an AgilentTechnologies tutorial provided in its entirety at: also offers a half day connector care training course.Learn more at: or call +1 800 829-4444.Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology26 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

If you’re here, OEM cal/repair serviceis closer than you might think.You don’t need to give up local convenienceto enjoy OEM-quality calibration and repairservices. Agilent provides a host of local-accessoptions to fi t your specifi c needs. Together withour delivery partner, we service Agilent and non-Agilent products to keep you up and runningwherever you are.Local Agilent Repair & Calibration OptionsLocal Service CenterersMobile Cal LabsSystemUptptimeFastpicick-up anddelivereryOur Service Centercomomesto youOur System Engnginineeeerscome to youThat’s thinking ahead. That’s Agilent.Resident ProrofefessssioionanalDedicated Servrvice Centeron your siteAgilent Preferred Service PartnerPlan for local service and much moreDiscover how Agilent can© 2011 Agilent Technologies, Inc. u.s. 1-800-829-4444 canada: 1-877-894-4414 mexico: 1-800-254-2440

Implementation and Verification ofBuilding-up AC-DC Current TransferUp to 10 AMamdouh. M. HalawaNational Institute for Standards (NIS), EgyptThis paper describes a practical method for implementation and verification of building-up AC-DC current transfer from10 mA and up to 10 A. A Planar multi-junction thermal converter (PMJTC) at the range of 10 mA was used with a set ofcoaxial current shunts to build-up the AC-DC current transfer standards for the range from 10 mA to 10 A at frequencyrange of 10 Hz to 1 kHz. The current level-dependence of the tested ranges at the different frequencies was determinedexperimentally to evaluate the corresponding corrections of those ranges. The results of building-up AC-DC differencewith such corrections, of a 5 A thermal current converter (TCC), were verified by comparing with its calibrated values fromPTB, Germany. An expanded uncertainty of less than 27 µA/A and 33 µA/A at 10 A for frequencies of 10 Hz and 1 kHzrespectively was achieved in this work.1. IntroductionThermal converters (TCs) are the most accurate standardsfor the transfer of alternating current to the equivalent DCquantities. Single junction thermal converters (SJTCs)are mostly used as thermal current converters becausethey are easily available [1]. The effective value of an ACquantity is considered equivalent to a DC value whentheir produced powers, indicated by the output of a TC,are equal at a resistive component (heater) in the TC [2].Different research work on SJTCs resulted in uncertaintiesof a few µA/A in the AC-DC current transfer differences[3][5]. At present time, thin-film or planar multijunctionthermal converters (PMJTCs) are also readily available [6],[7]. They have the advantages of both the low uncertaintyof the three-dimensional (3-D) MJTC and the low cost ofthe SJTC. The PMJTCs provide long-term stability togetherwith high sensitivity and high dynamic range. They are wellknown for very small AC-DC current transfer differencesat audio frequencies.Commercially available and self-designed coaxial shuntresistors in parallel with the converters were used to extendthe current range up to 10 A [9][11]. Coaxial shunts havea better frequency behavior than shunts which are notcoaxially connected. For currents less than 200 mA, severalspecial metals of low inductance and low temperaturecoefficient of the resistance are configured in parallel in astar configuration to achieve a stable, low-inductance shunt[1]. Coaxial connectors are usually used at the current input.These standards show very small AC-DC current transferdifferences up to 1 kHz, and a very low drift during themeasurements. Coaxial shunts for 0.5 A and higher currentsare commercially available. Shunts from Holt model HCS1 with very small inductance are used together with thePMJTC up to 5 A. At 10 mA and 10 A, SJTCs are appliedto Fluke A40A shunts.In practice, AC-DC difference exists at the output of theTC due to its reactive effect to AC quantities. This AC-DC difference can be theoretically evaluated accordingto the TC’s geometry design and the dielectrics amongconductors. It can also be determined by comparing theTC against a reference with known AC-DC difference [12].In the present work, building-up method is employed tostep-up current transfer standards at high current valuesbased on a value whose AC-DC differences are known. Itis also determined experimentally the level-dependence ofthe PMJTC used in this method. With necessary corrections,current range in NIS, Egypt is extended to 10 A with thosePMJCT and a set of current shunts. To verify this method, aTCC of 5 A was calibrated in PTB, Germany at frequenciesfrom 10 Hz to 1 kHz then compared with the results ofthis method. Calculations of uncertainty associated withthese results are also estimated in details and presentedin this work.2. AC-DC Current Transfer StandardsAC-DC current transfer standards comprise thermalconverters used in combination with current shunts.Recently several national institutes built up standards forthe current range of 10 mA to 10 A. At NIS, Egypt a PTBcharacterizedPMJTC is maintained as its 10 mA referencestandards. Other different types of TCCs are used to extendthe current range up to 10 A with a set of Holt HCS-1 andFluke A40 primary shunts. The heater resistance of thePMJTC was characterized as about 88 Ω and the nominalinput current 10 mA. Fig. 1 shows the building-up of theAC-DC current transfer standards in NIS based on the 10Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology28 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

Implementation and Verification of Building-up AC-DC Current Transfer up to 10 AMamdouh. M. HalawaPMJTC10 mATCC (10 mA)TCC (25 mA)TCC (50 mA)TCC (0.5 A)TCC (250 mA)TCC (100 mA)TCC (1 A)TCC (2.5 A) TCC (5 A) TCC (10 A)Figure 1. Building-up chain of NIS AC-DC current transfer standards.Figure 2. Shunt types used: Holt (model HCS-1) and Fluke (model A40/A40A).mA reference PMJTC, where arrows indicate the buildingupof the measurement traceability from one value (lower,reference standard) to another (unit under test: UUT),the lower values here (≈ 50% of the rated current) are thecurrents applied for the respective transfers. The UUT isloaded at only half of its nominal input current. It becomesthe reference standard at the subsequent steps when it isloaded fully at its nominal input current.At NIS, from 10 mA to 10 A, two types of shunts areused to build-up the current scale. All shunts are of coaxialdesign to minimize inductive coupling:1. Commercially available shunts with coaxial designmade by Holt (model HCS-1), (Fig. 2). It is a primaryalternating current shunt set consisting of sevenseparate shunt modules, designed to plug directlyinto either any Thermal Transfer Voltmeter or trueRMS Digital Voltmeter. Each HCS-1 Shunt is afour-terminal resistor providing optimum frequencyresponse well beyond the audio region. Controlledthermal characteristics ensure stable currentmeasurements up to 10 amperes and advancedtechniques are employed to minimize inductanceand skin effects.2. Commercially available shunts with coaxial designmade by Fluke (model: A40/A40A, accuracy: ± 0.02%at 5 Hz to 100 kHz), as shown in Fig. 2. The A40Series consists of 12 shunts rated from 10 mA upto 5A. The A40A shunts add 10A and 20A ranges.The A40/A40A allows you to make AC/DC currenttransfer measurements with the thermal voltagetransfer.The use of shunts of various types and different currentsteps permits the determination of the current leveldependence in the building-up, in which the shunts arecalibrated at lower than rated current (≈ 50% of ratedcurrent), but are used at rated current.Oct • Nov • Dec 201229Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

Implementation and Verification of Building-up AC-DC Current Transfer up to 10 AMamdouh. M. HalawaAC-DC Difference @ 10 mA (100 % of rated current)AC-DC Difference @ 5 mA (50 % of rated current)Current level-dependence of the 10 mA TCC at 55 Hz6.0 µA/A3.1 µA/A-2.9 µA/ATable 1. Current level-dependence of the 10 mA TCC, for example, at 55 Hz.Figure 3. AC-DC difference of 10 mA TCC at 50% and 100% of the rated current.Current level-dependence corrections (μA/A)Range 10 Hz 55 Hz 500 Hz 1 kHz10 mA 6.9 2.8 - 7.7 - 4.725 mA 3.5 - 17.9 - 12.5 - 1450 mA - 4.1 - 11.9 - 0.8 -12.7100 mA 0.2 - 7.6 - 6.4 - 6.8250 mA - 8.5 - 8.2 - 0.2 6.20.5 A - 1.4 - 2.8 - 0.8 - 14.81 A -7.8 - 3 - 3.6 - 22.62.5 A - 0.2 5.2 - 9.3 - 0.15 A 0.7 0.5 0.5 3.610 A 0.2 12.3 18.2 6.2Table 2. Current level-dependence corrections of the building-up process.Figure 4. Variation of the level-dependence correction, for example, of 50 mA, 0.5A, 1Aand 10 A.3. Measurement of Level-Dependence of TCCsSelf-heating is assumed to be thecause of current level dependence ofthe AC-DC difference in shunts. Thisleads to the approach to measurecurrent level dependence usinga shunt with negligibly low selfheatingas a standard [13]. This leveldependence is, of course, taken intoaccount when determining the AC-DC differences of the CTTs set at thedifferent frequencies.In the present work, two TCCs(PMJTC and Holt) were loaded atboth full and half of their nominalinput current (10 mA) to evaluatetheir current level-dependences. TheHolt TCC (UUT) was first connectedin series with the reference converter(PMJTC) and its AC-DC differenceswere measured at the full signal (10mA). Then the UUT was connected inparallel with a similar one (2nd UUT)(or a precise resistor) having the samerated current and then connected inseries with the reference converter(PMJTC). The AC-DC differenceof the UUT was measured anothertime against the reference converter(PMJTC). With this configuration,the injected current of 10 mA fromthe system fully flows throughthe reference converter (PMJTC),hence the conditions at the referenceconverter (PMJTC) remain unchanged,while only half current (~ 5 mA) flowsthrough the UUT. The results fromthe two tests were compared and thecurrent level-dependence of the UUTwas then determined at 55 Hz, forexample, as listed in Table 1. Fig. 3shows the results of the 10 mA TCC. Itcan be seen that the AC-DC differenceof the 10 mA TCC decreases withhalved injected current.As illustrated in Fig. 3, the changein the AC-DC differences are 6.9, 2.8,7.7 and 4.7 μA/A at 20, 55, 500 and1000 Hz respectively. Comparedwith the usual low uncertainties (afew μA/A) of the AC-DC differencesfor this type of calibrations, thesechanges are significant and correctionsCal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology30 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

Implementation and Verification of Building-up AC-DC Current Transfer up to 10 AMamdouh. M. HalawaFreq.Table 3. Comparison between building-up method and PTB calibration for TCC at 5 A.need to be made at each step whenbuilding-up current ranges, as listedin details in Table 2. For instance, Fig.4 shows the variation of the currentlevel-dependence of the 10 mA TCCat 55 Hz.4. Verification of theBuilding-up MethodResults of AC-DC Difference, µA/ABuilding-upMethodPTB CalibrationWithout leveldependencecorrectionDeviations, µA/AWith level-dependencecorrection10 Hz 17.5 28 -9.8 -11.555 Hz 2.7 -0.8 4 3500 Hz 9.7 -8.3 18.5 171 kHz 2.6 -14.3 20.5 16.9The results of building-up AC-DC differences method with suchcorrections, of a combination ofthe tested TCC and a shunt at 5 A,were verified by comparing withthe calibrated values from PTB. Acomparison between the two results(building-up method and PTBcalibration) is tabulated in Table3. Fig. 5 shows the deviations forthis comparison with and withoutcurrent level-dependence corrections.It can be seen that the deviation (~20 μA/A) at 1 kHz is close to theexpanded uncertainty (~ 30 μA/A) atthis frequency.On the other hand, Table 4 reportsthe proficiency testing results of thecomparison between the two results(PTB calibration results and buildingupresults at 5A). Proficiency testing isthe determination of the performanceby means of comparing and evaluatingcalibrations by two or more methodsin accordance with predeterminedFigure 5. Comparison of AC-DC difference at 5A between the building-up method andPTB calibration (with and without level-dependence corrections).conditions [14]. The performanceof the building-up results of 5 A atthe four frequencies against the PTBcalibration results, (as the referencevalues) is judged using the equationof:(1)Where:X L = the value as measured by thecompared method.X R = the value as measured by thereference method (algorithmic).U L = the expanded uncertainty of thecompared method.U R = the expanded uncertainty of thereference method.Note: En ratio (or En number)should be between -1 and + 1 (or |En|

Implementation and Verification of Building-up AC-DC Current Transfer up to 10 AMamdouh. M. HalawaAC/DC Digital Calibrator(Fluke 5720A)KnownTCCUnknownTCCNano-voltmeter(HP-3458A)Nano-voltmeter(HP-3458A)Figure 6. Measurement setup for AC-DC current transfer difference measurements.5. Calibration SetupThe comparison of thermal current converters (TCCs)is made with the methodology of integrated calibrationsystem, which applied at NIS, Egypt [15], (Fig. 6). The twoTCCs to be compared are connected in series. The AC andDC current is supplied by the AC / DC current calibrator.The input current is fed into the TCCs by coaxial cables.This construction may avoid any AC current leaving thecircuit through any leakage impedance [1]. In addition,the housings of the two TCCs are usually at low andhigh potential [8]. As there are small differences at highfrequencies depending on the potential of the “known”and the “unknown,” all measurements are repeated withthe potentials interchanged and the results are averaged[16].In this type of calibration, the sequence for themeasurements is AC, DC+, AC, DC-, AC with a time delayof about 60 seconds and 90 seconds for the SJTCs andPMJTCs respectively (after switching and before readingthe two nanovoltmeters) [1]. Averaging of the output emfsof this sequence for AC and DC results is nearly perfectdrift compensation. Taking the differences of the outputvoltages at AC and DC using a digital nanovoltmeterperforms the measurement of AC-DC differences. Thestandard deviation of the mean of 14 measurements isusually about 2.5 µA /A. It increases to about 6 µA /A onlyat 1 kHz. Table 5 lists the final results of AC-DC differencerecorded for the building-up method in this work.6. Uncertainty AnalysisAt each step in building up the current transfer valuesas listed in Fig. 1, measurement uncertainties of thedetermined AC-DC differences are estimated by takinginto account of the following influence quantities:1. Repeatability of 14 measurements in sameconditions, (U A).2. Uncertainty of the reference standard (ReferenceTCC in each step), (U B1).3. Uncertainty of the DC signal provided by Fluke5720 calibrator, (U B2).4. Uncertainty due to level-dependence correctionsfor each step, (U B3).5. Rounding-up resolution of the nano-voltmeterreadings, (U B6).For instance, the values of uncertainty contributions for25 mA and 10 A at 55 Hz are given in Table 6 and Table7 respectively. Table 8 lists the expanded uncertainty forthe building method starting from 10 mA and up to 10A for the four different frequencies (10 Hz, 55 Hz, 500Hz and 1 kHz). In addition, Fig. 7 shows the behavior ofthe typical measurement uncertainty (at approximately95% level of confidence, k = 2) of the determined AC-DCdifferences through this process. Fig. 8 shows also, forexample, the results of the AC-DC Difference associatedwith the expanded uncertainty (k = 2) for 10 mA TCC.Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology32 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

Implementation and Verification of Building-up AC-DC Current Transfer up to 10 AMamdouh. M. HalawaAC-DC Difference, μA/ARange 10 Hz 55 Hz 500 Hz 1 kHz10 mA 11.1 - 2.4 1 14.425 mA - 35.5 4 15 - 7.550 mA 26 5.5 - 10.4 15.6100 mA - 19 10.5 12.4 0.2250 mA 10.6 11.2 5.6 23.40.5 A 1.5 - 10.6 - 1.9 - 7.81 A 2.3 13 1.9 11.12.5 A 7.6 -6.3 5.4 -2.55 A -50.5 -22 38 82.510 A 47.6 23.6 -38.4 -84Table 5. Final results of the building-up method from 10 mA to 10 A.No Symbol Due to Contribution, ppm1 U ARepeatability of 10 measurements in same conditions 1.22 U B1Uncertainty of the reference standard (TCC ST..) 0.53 U B2Uncertainty of the DC signal provided by Fluke 5720 calibrator 44 U B3Uncertainty of the level-dependence corrections 4.35 U B6Rounding-up resolution of the nano-voltmeter readings 0.3Standard Uncertainty 6Expanded Uncertainty (k = 2, confidence level ≈ 95 %) 12Table 6. Uncertainty budget of 25 mA TCC, for example, at 10 Hz.No Symbol Due to Contribution, ppm1 U ARepeatability of 10 measurements in same conditions 1.82 U B1Uncertainty of the reference standard (TCC ST..) 13 U B2Uncertainty of the DC signal provided by Fluke 5720 calibrator 44 U B3Uncertainty of the level-dependence corrections 15.85 U B6Rounding-up resolution of the nano-voltmeter readings 0.3Standard Uncertainty 16.3Expanded Uncertainty (k = 2, confidence level ≈ 95 %) 32.8Table 7. Uncertainty budget of 10 A, for example, at 55 Hz.Expanded Uncertainty, k = 2, (μA/A)Range 10 Hz 55 Hz 500 Hz 1 kHz10 mA 9 9 9.5 1025 mA 12 12.6 13.5 1450 mA 14.4 21.3 16.5 17100 mA 16.8 23 19 20250 mA 18.8 24.5 21.5 22.50.5 A 20.6 26 23.5 251 A 22.2 27.5 25.5 272.5 A 23.8 29 27.5 295 A 25.2 30.3 29.5 30.510 A 26.6 32.8 31 32.5Table 8. Typical measurement uncertainty of the built up AC-DC Difference at NIS.Oct • Nov • Dec 201233Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

Implementation and Verification of Building-up AC-DC Current Transfer up to 10 AMamdouh. M. Halawa294301, June 1985.[4] H. Levinson, “A computerizedmodel of vacuum thermocoupleperformance,” IEEE Trans. Instrum.Meas., vol. 40, pp. 356359, Apr., 1991.[5] M. Klonz, G. Hammond, B. D. Inglis,H. Sasaki, T. Spiegel, B. Stojanovic,K. Takahashi, and R. Zirpel, “Measuringthermoelectric effects in thermalconverters with a fast reversed DC,”IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. IM-44,pp. 379382, Apr. 1995.Figure 7. Measurement uncertainty Behavior of the Built up AC-DC Difference at NIS.7. ConclusionThe current shunts ranging from10 mA to 10 A have already beenused as AC-DC transfer standardwith excellent performances in thefrequency range of 10 Hz -1 kHz. Acombination of these current shuntsand a calibrated 10 mA PMJTC isused to build-up a scale of currenttransfer standards from 10 mA up to10 A at 4 different frequencies: 10 Hz,55 Hz, 500 Hz and 1 kHz. Using thePMJTC and the shunts accompaniedwith a rigorous uncertainty budgetresulting in smaller uncertaintiesthan stated before, the measurementrange for AC-DC current transferdifference measurements could beextended to 10 A. The uncertaintiesof this method are suitable for thecalibration of the most accurate TCCsand determination of their AC-DCdifferences. In total, the expandedmeasurement uncertainty (k = 2) for10 mA and 10 A at 1 kHz could beestimated around the value 10 μA/Aand 32.5 μA/A respectively.Step-Down Calibration and UncertaintyCalculation,” IEEE Trans. Inst.& Meas., vol. 51, no. 5, Oct. 2002.[2] E. S. Williams, “Thermal CurrentConverters for Accurate AC CurrentMeasurement,” IEEE Trans. Inst. &Meas., vol. M25, no. 4, pp. 519-523,Dec 1976.[3] B. D. Inglis and C. C. Franchimon,“Current-independent AC-DCtransfer error components in singlejunction thermal converters,” IEEETrans. Instrum. Meas., vol. IM-42, pp.[6] M. Klonz, T. Weimann, F.Völklein, H. Dintner, and A. Lerm,“AC-DC-mV-transfer with highly sensitivethin-film multijunction thermalconverters,” IEEE Trans. Instrum.Meas., vol. IM-42, pp. 612614, Apr.1993.[7] H. Laiz, “Low Frequency Behaviorof Thin-Film MultijunctionThermal Converters,” Doctoral Thesis,Technische Universität Braunschweig,Braunschweig, Germany, 1999.[8] E. S. Williams, “Thermal currentconverters for accurate AC currentmeasurement,” IEEE Trans. Instrum.Meas., vol. IM-25, pp. 519523, Dec.1976.References[1] Manfred Klonz, Hector Laiz,Thomas Spiegel and Peter Bittle. “AC-DC Current Transfer Step-up andFigure 8. AC-DC Difference Associated with Expanded Uncertainty of 10 mA TCC.Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology34 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

Implementation and Verification of Building-up AC-DC Current Transfer up to 10 AMamdouh. M. Halawa[9] B. D. Inglis, “Evaluation of AC-DC transfer errors forthermal converter multiplier combinations,” Metrologia,vol. 16, pp. 177181, 1980.[10] J. R. Kinard, T. E. Lipe, and C. B. Childers, “AC-DCdifference relationships for current shunt and thermalconverter combinations,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol.40, pp. 352355, Apr. 1991.[11] I. Budovsky, “Precision measurement of alternatingcurrent”, NCSLI, Int. Workshop & Symp., 2005.[12] T. Jing, S. W. Chua, J. Sim, and C.H. Ma, “Stepping upAC-DC Current up to 10 A,” CPEM 2008.[13] Torsten Funck and Manfred Klonz, “Improved ACDC Current Transfer Step-Up With New Current Shuntsand Potential Driven Guarding,” IEEE Trans. Instrum.Meas., vol. 56, no. 2, Apr. 2007.[14] Jon M. Crickenberger, “Calibration Laboratories TechnicalGuide,” NIST Handbook, 150-2, Aug. 1995.[15] M. Halawa, A. Hasan, E. H. Shehab-Eldin and E. M.El-Refaee, “Integrated Calibration System for Accurate ACCurrent Measurements up to 100 kHz,” MAPAN Journal ofMetrology Society of India, DOI: 10.1007/s12647-012-0020-2,July 2012.[16] K. E. Rydler, “High precision automated measuring1. System for AC-DC current transfer standards,” IEEETrans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 42, pp. 608611, Apr. 1993.Mamdouh. M. Halawa, National Institute for Standards(NIS), PO: 136, Code: 12211, Tersa St., El-Haram, Giza,Egypt, Halawa is currently an Assistant Professor atthe Electrical Measurements Division, National Institutefor Standards (NIS, Egypt). Dr. Halawa received his BSEE,MSEE and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the AinShams University in Cairo. Two Ph. D. and 5 M. Sc. thesesin electrical metrology have been discussed under hissupervision in Egypt. Dr. Halawa has been the PrincipalInvestigator and Leader of funded research projects withNIST (USA) and INRiM (Italy) in the field of ElectricalMetrology and has published more than 30 scientific papersin refereed journals and international conferences relatedto the field of Metrology. Dr. Halawa also designed anddelivered industrial training courses in Metrology andISO/IEC 17025 and is working as a technical assessor forthe electrical activities in DAC (Dubai) and EGAC (Egypt).He is also the regional coordinator (# 4100) of NCSLI, USAorganization.Oct • Nov • Dec 201235Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

Faster, Better, Cheaper:New Automated Vacuum CalibrationService at NISTJacob E. Ricker, Jay H. Hendricks, Douglas Olson, and Greg StrouseNational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)In today’s fast-paced world and ever-expanding quality assurance requirements, the National Institute of Standards andTechnology (NIST) has developed a system to fill the need for faster, better, and cheaper low pressure calibrations (0.65Pa to 130 kPa). This has been achieved by using the advantages of an automated calibration system. This new systemhas resulted in reduced turnaround time (faster), lower costs for customers and NIST (cheaper), and provides broaderaccess to direct traceability from NIST standards (better). The enabling technology is a combination of commerciallyavailable computer-controlled systems, a NIST-developed high-accuracy transfer standard, and intelligent softwareallowing all the parts to work together as an automated calibration system. While this article is specific to vacuumcalibrations, automation of calibration service delivery is a general concept that can be used by other metrology labs toenable delivery of faster, better and cheaper calibration services.IntroductionIn the vacuum business, less is more except when it comesto accuracy. Industries that depend on high-quality, carefullymonitored vacuum for sensitive processes such as microchipfabrication, as well as researchers in numerous technologyfields, defense R&D work, and academic science, requirehigh-precision sensors calibrated to authoritative standards.But until recently, getting direct traceability to NIST forvacuum gauges has been a time-consuming and relativelyexpensive process. Calibrating an atmospheric rangeto vacuum customer gauge against one of the primarypressure standards (that is, one of NIST’s UltrasonicInterferometer Manometers, or UIMs) usually takes aboutfifty hours of data-acquisition, followed by several daysto complete a report. The customer’s cost ends up beingaround $5000 with a turnaround time of approximatelyeight weeks. That excludes many potential customerswithout the requisite time or money. Now, however, evensmall businesses and labs can take advantage of a new,fully automated calibration service to obtain direct NISTtraceability at a cost of less than $1000.Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology36 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

Faster, Better, Cheaper: New Automated Vacuum Calibration Service at NISTJacob E. Ricker, Jay H. Hendricks, Douglas Olson, and Greg StrouseFigure 1. Vacuum Comparison System (VCS) can calibrate up to 10 customer gaugesconnected to the vacuum chamber shown above.The new service relies on a transferof the SI unit the pascal (Pa) fromthe manually operated UIM primarystandard to a fully automatedvacuum comparison standard. Thisautomated standard is the key toproviding extremely accurate andstable calibrations while reducingturnaround time and customer cost.This system simultaneously calibratesup to 10 gauges of different types,providing automated calibrations thatare faster, better, and cheaper.Faster: Benefits ofAutomationDevelopment of the new VacuumComparison Standard (VCS) wasfocused with automation as the keygoal. NIST designed and built theVCS from the ground up with the ideathat everything would be computercontrolled (Fig. 1). Automationprovides many advantages, but theprominent benefit to NIST customersis reduced turnaround time. A fastercalibration results in less down timefor customers and their process lines.However, for NIST, an automatedvacuum calibration system requireda significant investment and planningand was created with calibrationservice development (internal) fundsdesignated for improving the deliveryof NIST calibration services. For NIST,an automated calibration servicereduces work-load and frees up stafftime for other important R&D work.To perform a calibration, the system(Fig. 2) must be capable of achievingmultiple pressures and comparingthe reading of the transfer standardto the devices under test (customergauges). The VCS utilizes multiplecomponents to achieve each pressurewith the set point accuracy achieved byusing a mass flow controller, throttlinggate valve, and computer controlledsolenoid valves in tandem. The massflow controller can vary the flow rate ofgas into the system or can be pulsed tolet small volumes of gas into the system.The throttling gate valve is capable ofmillions of steps and is connected to ahigh vacuum turbomolecular pumpable to evacuate the system to 2x10 -6 Pa(1.5 x 10 -8 Torr). For pressures closerto atmospheric, a valve and smalldiameter orifice (2.5 mm) are used toflow gas into the vacuum chamber. Asseen in Fig. 2, the system was designedwith a backup manual gas handlingsystem for research or other projects.The computer software ties allautomated actuators and sensorcomponents together to achieve targetpressure set-points, collect data, andmonitor system health. A screenshot of the software developed byNIST personnel is shown in Fig. 3.The system software was designedto interface with RS-232/485, GPIB,DeviceNet, or analog (0 V to 10 V)signals for collecting data and wasdesigned to accommodate all commongauge data output interfaces. Thesoftware controls all components of thegas handling system described aboveand is capable of setting pressures andcollecting gauge data through the rangeof 0.65 Pa (≈5 x 10 -3 Torr) to 130 kPa(≈1000 Torr or 1.3 atm). The systemis capable of achieving a pressure,allowing the system to stabilize,and taking a pressure reading in 5min to 10 min. For comparison, theUIM takes 30 min to 45 min per datapoint. Overall, the automated systemresults in a factor of four reduction inturnaround time.Figure 2. Schematic of calibration system and temperature controlled transfer standard.Oct • Nov • Dec 201237Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

Faster, Better, Cheaper: New Automated Vacuum Calibration Service at NISTJacob E. Ricker, Jay H. Hendricks, Douglas Olson, and Greg StrouseFigure 3. Custom software.Better: Improved TransferStandardNIST maintains UIMs as primarystandards that have the lowest stateduncertainty in the world [1, 2], but mostcommercial transfer standards do nothave the resolution/accuracy/stabilityto fully utilize this advantage. Overthe past 10 years, NIST has developeda portable Transfer Standard Package(TSP) which can disseminate pressureat significantly lower uncertaintiesthan commercially available transferstandards [1, 3]. Although higherthan the UIMs, the TSP uncertaintyis sufficient to calibrate 90 % ofcommercial gauges. At the heart of thisstandard is a set of two CapacitanceDiaphragm Gauges (CDGs) alongwith a Resonance Silicon Gauge (RSG)enclosed in a temperature controlledenclosure, shown in Fig. 4. By usingthe TSP on the VCS system, NISTcontrols the traceability chain andpasses on these low uncertaintiesdirectly to the customer.The crucial advantage of theNIST TSP is the ability to exploitthe advantages of both gauge types.CDGs offer unbeatable resolution atlower pressures (typically 1 part in10 6 of full scale range), but are subjectto up to 0.5 % uncertainty (k=2) due tolong term stability (drift uncertainty).However, the short term stability (< 8hours) is excellent (less than 0.01 %).RSGs offer drift uncertainties of 0.01% (k=2), but don’t have the resolutionor low full scale ranges of CDGs.Because of these characteristics, itis possible to calibrate the CDGsjust before use and wind up with avery low uncertainty measurement.The software takes advantage ofthis by performing a pre-calibrationadjustment to correct the CDG driftagainst the RSG. This is an entirelyautomated and in-situ self-calibrationto adjust the CDG calibration functionjust before customer data is collected.The CDG calibration function is gaugedependent and is usually a secondto fourth order fit and while overallshifts of this function do occur intime (drift), most CDG drift can beaccounted for because the shape ofthe function is usually very stable. TheTSP is recalibrated against the UIMregularly to reassess the calibrationfunction over time.Additionally, both CDG and RSGgauges see significant noise reductionby placement in a temperaturecontrolled enclosure and ensuring theyremain fixed (level). For temperaturecontrol, NIST implemented acommercial portable cooler with abuilt in Peltier heating/cooling unit. Byusing a feedback loop with a PlatinumResistance Thermometer (PRT) anda NIST designed electronics circuit,the temperature in the enclosure iscontrolled to ±10 mK (in the operatingenvironment). The cooler is mountedto a flat plate which is leveled towithin 100 µRad. By ensuring thegauges are calibrated and leveledin the same manor, the randomcomponent of uncertainty is below0.01 % (k=2) at the lowest pressureand is negligible at higher pressures.The overall calibration uncertainty ofthe new vacuum comparison standardsystem is plotted in Fig. 5. Thecalculated uncertainty shows a markedimprovement over a commercialheated CDG and is shaped more likethe UIM uncertainty (which it is directlycalibrated against). This indicates thatthe VCS’s uncertainty is dominatedby the UIM calibration uncertainty.In contrast, the commercial CDGuncertainty is limited by the longterm stability and random noise of theFigure 4. The Transfer Standard Package (TSP) is key to the high accuracy (lowuncertainties) produced by the VCS system.Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology38 Oct • Nov • Dec 2012

Faster, Better, Cheaper: New Automated Vacuum Calibration Service at NISTJacob E. Ricker, Jay H. Hendricks, Douglas Olson, and Greg Strousedevice. Although the uncertainty isnot as low as a calibration against theprimary standard, the uncertainty ofthe VCS is significantly improved overother automated transfer standards.Cheaper: Cost SavingsPassed to NIST CustomersThe greatest advantage toimplementation of an automatedcalibration system is the reduction instaff time required for a calibrationwhich directly translates into lowercosts for the customer. The VCS wasdesigned to be self-sufficient wherethe calibration staff will only needto attach the gauges, configure thesoftware, and initiate the calibration.The software will run the automatedself-calibration routine and completethe calibration unattended or evenovernight (when there is often less noisedue to vibrations). Overall a reductionin staff time results in savings to NISTwhich results in a lower calibrationcost being passed on to customers.Additionally, customers may also seecost savings due to reduction in downtime as a result of gauges having aquicker turnaround time.Maintaining low uncertainties andlowering calibration costs for the newservice has enabled NIST to reachout to a new customer base. Thesecustomers may have wanted directNIST traceability, but couldn’t affordthe full UIM calibration. Others mayhave devices that don’t have theresolution or accuracy to make useof a UIM calibration, but now maybe able to obtain direct traceabilityat a significantly reduced cost. Moregauge types can be accommodatedsuch as new combination gauges orhigh accuracy digital thermocouple(vacuum) gauges. In general, anincrease in customers reduces thetotal overhead cost of maintenancefor the system. Finally, the VCS isdesigned to be versatile. The systemcan be used as a test bed for multipledifferent research applications andprojects by providing a system whichautomatically sets pressures, hasFigure 5. Plot of Uncertainties vs. Pressure (k=2).multiple access ports, and includes ahigh quality standard. By maintainingone system that accomplishes manygoals we have reduced maintenancecosts and expanded capabilities of thelab. Overall these combine to providecalibration service that is one-fifth thecost!ConclusionIn a world where time is money,automated calibration is crucial toany calibration facility. But essentialto meeting uncertainty goals is thedevelopment and evaluation of astable transfer standard that can beused in an automated process. NIST’sVCS required development of a newtransfer standard package, automatedtest-chamber, and custom software toprovide a service at one-fifth the costand a factor of four improvement inturnaround time. This automatedcalibration system decreases stafftime required for calibrations withthe resulting lower calibrationcost expanding the accessibility ofcalibrations to a new customer basethat includes small businesses andstart-ups. Overall, one thing is certain:“Automated calibration is progress.”AcknowledgementThe authors acknowledge earlydesign and development work doneby Patrick Abbott, Justin Chow, andJeffrey Kelley, software coding byJohn Quintavalle and image credit andeditorial support by Curt Suplee. Thework was made possible with NISTcalibration service development (CSD)funds. Please see, for moreinformation on NIST calibrations.References[1] J. H. Hendricks and D. A. Olson,“Towards Portable Vacuum Standards,”Physics World, vol. 22, no.8pp.18-19, 2009.[2] A.P. Miiller and M. Bergoglio,“Final Report on Key ComparisonCCM.P-K4 in Absolute Pressure from1 Pa to 1000 Pa,”[3] J. H. Hendricks and A. P. Miiller,“Development of a new high-stabilitytransfer standard based on resonantsilicon gauges for the range 100 Pa to130 kPa,” Metrologia, 44, 171, 2007.Oct • Nov • Dec 201239Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology

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