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Long term study of gauge block interferometer performance and gauge blocks stability.

Lewis, A J; Hughes, E B; Aldred, P J E* (2010) Long term study of gauge block interferometer performance and gauge blocks stability. Metrologia, 47 (4). pp. 473-486.

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We report on a successful twenty-five year study, involving a National Metrology Institute and a commercial instrument manufacturer, in the field of gauge block measurement by optical interferometry. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has made measurements of length artefacts on its own equipment and on thirty copies of this instrument that are now in use worldwide. Several NPL length artefacts have been measured on all thirty-one instruments including repeated re-measurement of the artefacts on the same equipment at NPL, over a period of twenty years. This pool of data therefore allows for quantitative examination of the temporal stability of these standards as well as the long-term performance of the instruments and of the evolving instrument design. Many of the laboratories which now own these instruments have taken part in international comparisons under the Comité International des Poids et Measures' (CIPM) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA). Combining the data from these key comparisons and the data obtained by NPL allows for a novel analysis - this data can be regarded as coming from an international key comparison, where both the artefact and the measuring instrument are circulated amongst the participants - the remaining variability being due to operator skill at the different laboratories, and the quality of their independent traceability chains.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: gauge blocks, interferometry, CIPM, comparison, stability, uncertainty, traceability, MRA
Subjects: Engineering Measurements
Engineering Measurements > Dimensional
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:15
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/4711

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