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Sensor Science Division Services and Standards

Sensor Science Division (SSD) provides a collection of services and products, including calibrations, Standard Reference Materials (SRMs), and Standard Reference Instruments (SRIs), that support commerce and help academia and other government agencies ensure their measurements are correct, accurate, and traceable to international recognized standards that enable world-wide uniformity in units of measure.  These products and services support industries ranging from healthcare to aerospace and respond to national priorities in the areas of defense, security, and climate change. 

Additionally, Division staff actively participate in and lead the development of documentary standards through the involvement in Standards Development Organizations (SDOs).   Documentary standards provide the foundation for product specification, manufacture, and quality control.  Since the establishment of NIST as NBS in the early 1990’s, a primary focus of NIST staff has been the development of documentary standards. SSD staff provide technical leadership and expertise and serve as neutral parties to facilitate the development of standards that are technically accurate and responsive to the needs of both industry and consumers.   We engage with the following SDOs: ANSI-OEOSC, API, ASME, ASTM, AVS, CIE, IEC, IEEE, IES, ISO, and OSAC.

Specific examples of SSD measurements, standards, and services and their impact include the following:

Liquid and gas flow and liquid-volume standards that help ensure fair energy commerce in multibillion dollars of yearly fossil fuel transfers.

Dimensional measurement services and artifact and documentary standards that enable accurate dimensional measurements over hundreds of meters needed for the manufacture of multimillion-to-billion-dollar ships, aerospace and construction vehicles, and buildings.

Infrared radiation measurements and standards that help ensure the effectiveness of our Nation’s multibillion-dollar ballistic missile defense system.

Optical properties of materials services, standards, and documentary standards that support the measurement infrastructure of communities involved in optics, photonics, color technology, instrument manufacturing, pharmaceutical, healthcare, coatings manufacturing, and remote sensing. 

Surface measurements and standards that are enabling firearm forensics to move from a subjective to an objective science necessary for maintaining confidence in the fairness of our criminal justice system

Temperature measurements, standards, and best practices that maintain the efficacy of billions of dollars of vaccines delivered yearly in the US.

Photometric calibrations, documentary standards, and measurement comparisons that are enabling the rapid growth of the multibillion-dollar solid-state lighting industry.

Created February 11, 2021