Temperature and humidity

Calibration of radiation thermometersInfrapuna_small.jpg

Blackbody radiators are used in calibration of radiation thermometers. The operation range of MIKES radiators is -40 °C ... 1500 °C. 

In MIKES radiation thermometers are calibrated by using either a calibrated reference pyrometer or reference radiators.

The size of the radiation source (size-of-source effect, SSE) affects the calibration results of a radiation thermometer. On demand, the size-of-source-effect is measured at VTT MIKES.


Fixed point calibration of platinum resistance thermometers

Standard platinum resistance thermometers (SPRT) of good quality (i.e. stable) are calibrated at the fixed points of the ITS-90 temperature scale. A fixed point cell usually contains pure metal, e.g. tin, zinc, aluminium or silver (Table 1) sealed in a crucible of purified graphite. The graphite crucible is enclosed in a fused quartz tube.

The fixed point cell is placed in a vertical tube furnace and the temperature is slowly raised until the melting is complete. At this stage the furnace temperature is reduced to a value slightly below the melt temperature in order to start solidification. When the metal is in a supercooled state, the thermometer to be calibrated is carefully inserted into the cell. The thermometer is coupled to a resistance bridge using four wire coupling. The resistance bridge is used to measure the electrical resistance of the thermometer during the solidification state. The thermometers are usually calibrated using three or five different fixed points.Fixed point cell.png

Table 1. MIKES fixed points for resistance thermometers

Fixed point cell_3.png
 * t = triple point, m = melting point, f = freezing point

Calibration of hygrometers

Most dew-point meters are calibrated using a dewpoint generator. The measurement standards of humidity laboratory at MIKES cover the dew-point temperature range -80 °C to +84 °C. Dew-point calibrations are also carried out as comparison calibrations in calibrators, for instance for capacitive dew-point meters.

Most relative humidity sensors are calibrated in a climatic chamber. The relative humidity is calculated from measured temperature and dew-point temperature. If the achievable uncertainty is not sufficient or the temperature range extends to below +10 °C, the calibration is performed using a humidity generator. Relative humidity sensors are calibrated in the range 10 %rh to 95 %rh at temperatures between -20 °C and +85 °C.

Table 2. Measurement ranges and best achievable calibration uncertainties at

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Further information