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Long-Term Stability of One-Inch Condenser Microphones Calibrated at the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Published

Author(s)

Randall P. Wagner, William F. Guthrie

Abstract

The devices calibrated most frequently by the acoustical measurement services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) over the 50-year period from 1963 to 2012 were one-inch condenser microphones of three specific standard types: LS1Pn, LS1Po, and WS1P. Due to its long history of providing calibrations of such microphones to customers, NIST is in a unique position to analyze data concerning the long-term stability of these devices. This long history has enabled NIST to acquire and aggregate a substantial amount of repeat calibration data for a large number of microphones that belong to various other standards and calibration laboratories. In addition to determining microphone sensitivities at the time of calibration, it is important to have confidence that the microphones do not typically undergo significant drift as compared to the calibration uncertainty during the periods between calibrations. For each of the three microphone types, an average drift rate and approximate 95 % confidence interval were computed by two different statistical methods, and the results from the two methods were found to differ insignificantly in each case. These results apply to typical microphones of these types that are used in a suitable environment and handled with care. The average drift rate for Type LS1Pn microphones was 0.004 dB/year to 0.003 dB/year. The average drift rate for Type LS1Po microphones was 0.016 dB/year to 0.008 dB/year. The average drift rate for Type WS1P microphones was 0.004 dB/year to 0.018 dB/year. For each of these microphone types, the average drift rate is not significantly different from zero. This result is consistent with the performance expected of condenser microphones designed for use as transfer standards. In addition, the values that bound the confidence intervals are well within the limits specified for long-term stability in international standards. Even though these results show very good long- term stability historica
Citation
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) - 120.012
Report Number
120.012
Volume
120

Keywords

calibration, condenser microphone, laboratory standard microphone, long-term stability, microphone calibration, working standard microphone

Citation

Wagner, R. and Guthrie, W. (2015), Long-Term Stability of One-Inch Condenser Microphones Calibrated at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], https://doi.org/10.6028/jres.120.012 (Accessed June 23, 2021)
Created August 17, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018