Meteorological Instrument Performance Characteristics

Instrument Performance Characteristics » Static Calibration

Instrument calibration is one of the primary processes used to determine performance characteristics and quantify measurement uncertainty. A calibration, as described here, involves both the sensor and instrument and tests the transfer curve as well as the conversion of sensor output to an estimate of the measurand. The calibration process generally requires a traceable standard input to test the output signal of the instrument.

The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) description for producing a traceable standard.

Calibration involves using a traceable standard input. Image by NIST.

Calibration results are used to establish a relationship between the measurand (input signal) and the output of the instrument, and if necessary, make adjustments to bring the instrument in line with the calibrator.

The calibration process typically steps up or down the measurement range of the instrument. This adjustment allows both the calibrator and the instrument to reach steady-state values for a period of time until a statistically robust mean and standard deviation can be determined for each span value over the range between the lowest and highest inputs.


Which of the following are part of the process of static calibration?

The correct answers are a, c, and d.

Calibration requires a traceable standard input to provide information for stepping the instrument's measurement range up or down. A calibration curve can reveal systematic errors, including zero error or span error.

Please make a selection.