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Mechanical Measurements

Air Speed Instruments

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Technical Contacts:
Iosif Shinder
Tel: 301-975-5943

Chris Crowley
Tel: 301-975-4648

Please contact the technical staff before shipping instruments or standards to the address listed below.

Mailing Address:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive , Stop 8361
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8361

Service ID
Description of Services Fee ($)
19010C Air Speed Instruments 0.2 m/s - 75 m/s (40 fpm to 15000 fpm) 2697
19030S High Air Speed Special Tests At Cost

Fees are subject to change without notice.

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Air Speed Instruments (19010C)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology provides calibration services for air speed instrumentation such as Pitot tubes, hot-wire or thermal anemometers, ultrasonic anemometers, cup anemometers, propeller anemometers, and the like. The calibration service is performed in the dual test-section wind tunnel over a range of 0.15 m/s to 40 m/s (0.34 miles per hour to 80 miles per hour) with a test section of 1.5 m by 2.1 m (5 ft by 7 ft). The standard for air speed measurement at NIST is a fiber optic Laser Doppler Anemometer (LDA), which is calibrated with known velocities produced by a rotating disk. The air speed calibrations are done by direct comparison of the response of the instrument under test with the response of a NIST LDA. The uncertainty of the air speed standards shown in figure 1 as function of air speed is airspeed_equation1(k=2), where V LDA is the velocity from the LDA in the unit of m/s. The air temperature, relative humidity, and atmospheric pressure in the wind tunnel during the calibration are also measured and recorded.


Figure 1. NIST Air Speed Uncertainty versus Air Speed

A normal air speed calibration consists of the average of ten independent measurements at seven to thirteen air speeds.

Air Speed Special Tests (19030S)

Special tests of airspeed instruments can be arranged. Examples include in-situ calibrations of airspeed instrumentation, proving other airspeed instrumentation, proving other airspeed measurement systems, and tests where appropriate scaling will allow the results to be applicable to fluids other than air, and wind speed and wind direction. Details can be obtained and arrangements made through the technical contacts cited above.

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References-Airspeed Measurements

Uncertainty of NIST Air Speed Calibrations, T. T. Yeh and J. M. Hall, Proc. 2008 Meas. Sci. Conf., Anaheim, CA (2008).

Airspeed Calibration Service, T. T. Yeh and J. M. Hall, NIST SP 250-79 (2007).

New Primary Standards for Air Speed Measurement at NIST, V. E. Bean and J. M. Hall, Proc. 1999 NCSL Workshop and Symp. (Charlotte, NC: NCSL 1999).

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Program questions: Calibrations
Phone: 301-975-2200, Fax: 301-975-2950
NIST, 100 Bureau Drive , Stop 8363, Gaithersburg , MD 20899-8363