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Research

Temperature and humidity

Our world-leading expertise and research enables innovative improvements in practical and traceable measurement, and is underpinned by realising and disseminating the International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90)

Helping organisations to understand the impact of reliable temperature and humidity measurement on their processes, and solve their challenging measurement problems

We realise and disseminate the UK National Standards for temperature (between approximately -196 °C and 3000 °C) and humidity (dew-point temperatures from -90 °C to +95 °C) the uncertainties of which are demonstrated through international comparisons. NPL is making world-leading contributions to the realisation of the redefined kelvin.

We have a growing portfolio of temperature, humidity and moisture calibration services. These UKAS-accredited services offer very low calibration uncertainties, wide measurement ranges and flexibility in the operating parameters used. We use the International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90) which defines procedures for realising temperature in kelvin and degrees Celsius. All quoted uncertainties are expanded uncertainties, based on a standard uncertainty multiplied by a coverage factor k = 2, providing a coverage probability of approximately 95 %.

We have leading expertise and novel techniques for solving real-world temperature and humidity measurement problems, including those in challenging or harsh environments. We provide cost-effective, impartial, quality-assured solutions to organisations looking to understand the impact of temperature and humidity measurement on their infrastructure, products, research and development. This is not limited to a particular sector or technology, but is both wide (from construction to space) and deep (from practical applications to theoretical knowledge and modelling).

We engage with users in a variety of ways, including long-term research, industrial partnerships, consultancies, calibration services, instrument sale and installation, good practice guides and tailored training.

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Our research

Our experienced team conducts cutting-edge research into the development of innovative temperature and humidity measurement techniques, from concept to complete instruments. In particular, we have expertise and ongoing research in:

Contact thermometry

Generic and bespoke solutions to contact temperature measurement challenges, including reliable traceable thermometry in harsh environments

Humidity and moisture measurement

We are broadening our humidity calibration techniques to include a wider range of parameters, including non-air gases, high pressures and moisture content in solids and liquids

Non-contact thermometry

We are developing low uncertainty, thermodynamic temperature capabilities to complement our existing temperature calibration services, especially at higher temperatures

Primary thermometry

Our range of primary thermometry techniques perform temperature measurements which are directly linked to thermodynamic temperature (the basis of the redefinition of the kelvin and the degree Celsius).

Quantitative thermal imaging

We are designing world-leading instruments for robust and traceable temperature measurements using thermal imaging in 2D and 3D in the laboratory and harsh environments.

Reliable harsh environment thermometry

We are improving techniques for reliable temperature measurement in harsh environments, including using thermographic phosphors and fibre-optics

Our services

Our state-of-the-art equipment supply and our highly accurate calibration services give organisations improved performance, reliability and understanding of temperature and humidity measurements.  

Case study

Development of a practical Johnson noise thermometer

Article

Case study

Saving lives through early foot ulcer detection

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Case study

Better measurements of water vapour in fuel gas

Article

Our resources

We have published extensively in this area, have a number of good practice guides and e-learning or training modules. Search our comprehensive list of resources.

Resources

    Case study

    Supporting new routes for therapeutic drug delivery using super-resolution microscopy

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    Supporting Hyde Aero products to gain Nadcap accreditation

    Article

    Case study

    Enabling the injection of biomethane into the gas grid

    Article

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    Providing accredited quality assurance measurements for hydrogen fuel

    Article

    Case study

    Supporting the oil and gas industry by ensuring gauges comply with standards

    Article

    Case study

    Developing innovative materials for low-cost 3D medical imaging

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    Our team

    We have over 20 internationally recognised researchers focused on temperature and humidity measurement.
    View our team