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Long-term Stability of the NIST Standard Ultrasonic Source



Steven E. Fick


The NIST Standard Ultrasonic Source (SUS) is a system comprising a transducer capable of output power levels up to 1 W at multiple frequencies between 1 MHz and 30 MHz, and an electrical impedance-matching network that allows the system to be driven by a conventional 50 ohm rf source. It is designed to allow interlaboratory replication of ultrasonic power levels with high accuracy using inexpensive readily available ancillary equipment. The SUS was offered for sale for 14 years (1985-1999). Each system was furnished with data for the set of calibration points (combinations of power level and frequency) specified by the customer. Of the systems that had been ordered with some calibration points in common, three were returned more than once to NIST for recalibration. Another system retained at NIST has been recalibrated periodically since 1984. The collective data for these systems comprises 9 calibration points and 102 measurements spanning a 17-year interval ending in 2001, the last year NIST ultrasound power measurement services were available to the public. These data have been analyzed to compare variations in output power with frequency, power level, and time elapsed since the first calibration. The results verify the claim, made in the instruction sheet furnished with every SUS, that long-term drift, if any, in the calibration of NIST Standard Sources is insignificant compared to the uncertainties associated with a single measurement of ultrasonic power by any method available at NIST.
Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology


long term stability, radiation force balance, standard ultrasonic source, ultrasonic power


Fick, S. (2008), Long-term Stability of the NIST Standard Ultrasonic Source, Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created October 1, 2008, Updated February 19, 2017