Air-speed instrument manufacturers and users are forming a new industrial consortium with the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology to improve air-speed measurements.
NIST is launching the new Air-Speed Proficiency Testing Consortium in response to manufacturers who have expressed a need for improved air flow measurements. Improvements in low air-speed measurements are important for the control of ventilation for clean-room environments, meteorology and air-borne pollutant control. Testing will span the air-speed range from 0.3 to 15 meters per second.
"We see the potential for significant improvements in measurements of low air speeds," explains J. Michael Hall, physical science technician and a member of the NIST fluid flow group. "The cooperative efforts of consortium members will help solve what has been a difficult problem in this area."
Participating instrument manufacturers are providing NIST with two types of air-speed measuring devices selected for this program: hot-wire anemometers and Pitot-static tubes. NIST is evaluating and calibrating each instrument to assess its performance under the selected test conditions.
NIST scientists then will select instruments on the basis of performance in the conditions specified for round-robin testing in participants' wind tunnels. In the second phase of the consortium's work, the selected instruments will be hand carried to each participant's air-speed laboratory. Results of tests done in these facilities will indicate how much measurement variance exists between the laboratories and NIST and among the laboratories.
The consortium will then work to reduce excessive interlaboratory variances in air-speed measurements. Scientists will repeat the initial tests to evaluate improvements or to confirm the initial results. When completed, the tests should enable consortium members to claim traceability to NIST air-speed standards; results also should lead to guidelines and test procedures for accurate low speed measurements.
The new consortium has eight members: six companies and two Department of Defense laboratories. New members must have a wind tunnel facility. Current members include Airflow Developments (Canada) Ltd., Georgetown, Ont.; Airflow Technical Products, Netcong, N.J.; Barnant Company (division of Cole-Palmer Instrument Co.), Barrington, Ill.; the U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Ga.; the U.S. Navy Primary Standards Laboratory, San Diego, Calif.; PECO Energy, Wayne, Pa.; Shortridge Instruments, Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Sierra Instruments, Monterey, Calif.
For further information on the NIST Air-Speed Proficiency Testing Consortium, contact J. Michael Hall, (301) 975-5947, or Vern E. Bean, (301) 975-4830, Room 105, Fluid Mechanics Building, NIST, Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-0001.
As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.