The new method improves accuracy in calibrations of oscilloscopes, common test instruments that measure voltage in communications and electronics devices, and potentially could boost performance and save money in other fields ranging from medical testing to structural analysis to remote sensing.
A waveform can take many different shapes, from staircase steps to irregular curves. A waveform typically is described by a single number—some key parameter of interest in a particular application. For example, engineers have described waveforms using terms such as pulse duration, or transition time between the levels representing '0' and '1' (the binary code used in digital electronics). But waveforms can be diverse and complex, especially in advanced high-speed devices, and a traditional analysis may not distinguish between similar shapes that differ in subtle ways. The result can be signal mistakes (a 1 mistaken for a 0, for instance) or misidentification of defects.
NIST's new calibration method* defines waveforms completely, providing both signal reading and measurement uncertainty at regular intervals along the entire wave, and for the first time makes waveform calibrations traceable to fundamental physics. The mathematics-intensive method is laborious and currently is performed only at NIST (which has more than 750 oscilloscopes), but the developers plan to write a software program that will automate the technique and make it transferable to other users.
The new method offers NIST calibration customers, including major manufacturers and the military, more comprehensive characterization of a greater variety of waveforms, and helps to meet current and future demands for measurements at ever-higher frequencies, data rates, and bandwidths. The impact could be far reaching. The global market for oscilloscopes is $1.2 billion. Anecdotal data suggest that for one product alone, Ethernet optical fiber transceivers, industry could save tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars through manufacturing innovations (such as the new NIST method) that reduce component reject rates and/or boost yields.
Of particular interest to scientists and engineers, the NIST calibration method incorporates new techniques for quantifying errors in waveform measurements. This allows, for the first time, accurate transfer of measurement uncertainties between the time domain (results arranged by time) and the frequency domain (the same data arranged by frequency). Researchers in many fields have long used a technique called "Fourier transform," which reveals patterns in a sequence of numbers, to transfer data from the time domain to the frequency domain. "The new NIST method is, in effect, a Fourier transform for uncertainty," says NIST physicist Paul Hale.
Although the new method was developed for common lab test instruments, it also may have applications in measuring other types of waveforms, such as those generated in electrocardiograms for medical testing, ultrasound diagnostics of structural defects and failures, speech recognition, seismology and other remote sensing activities.
* P. Hale, A. Dienstfrey, J.C.M. Wang, D.F. Williams, A. Lewandowski, D.A. Keenan and T.S. Clement. Traceable waveform calibration with a covariance-based uncertainty analysis. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. Vol. 58, No. 10. Oct.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
Summer heat for the winter
10.01.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Illinois team advances GaN-on-Silicon for scalable high electron mobility transistors
10.01.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Trade Fair News
16.01.2017 | Automotive Engineering
16.01.2017 | Life Sciences