Implementing the new kelvin & Novel techniques for traceable temperature dissemination

Torino, Italy — Also described in the January 2012 IMEKO TC12 newsletter are from the European Metrology Research Programme, EMRP 2011, where two projects dealing with temperature have been awarded for funding on the call on SI broader scope.

InK – Implementing the new kelvin (Ref:

Implementing the new kelvin (InK) is the project coordinated by Graham Machin of NPL in the UK. The JRP will develop primary thermometry methods that both challenge and supplant the defined scales at high (>1000 ??C) and low (

This will result in a paradigm shift in the practice of thermometry. At these extremes thermodynamic temperature will be, for the first time (anticipating the new kelvin defined in terms of the Boltzmann constant) directly realized and disseminated, instead of one of the defined scales.

Between these temperature extremes new values of (T ??? T90) with the lowest uncertainties (?1 mK) are required in the
a) short term to provide ultra- reliable (T ??? T90) data for the MeP-K ( Mise en pratique for the definition of the kelvin see: and
b) longer term to develop the primary thermometry techniques needed to progressively supplant defined scales in the next decade.

The user community will welcome the fact that this work will extend the life of ITS-90, through the mechanism of the MeP-K, and negate the need for a change in the temperature scale for a considerable length of time.

Contact: Graham Machin at

NOTED – Novel techniques for traceable temperature dissemination

Dolores Del Campo, from CEM coordinates this project, focused on the development of new advanced techniques for providing improved traceability to the kelvin to support its wider and simpler dissemination to the users.

The project objective will be attained by:

a) The development of new interpolation instruments and techniques and through implementing practical primary thermometers (which will be able to perform a calibration of Standard Platinum Resistance Thermometers (SPRT) directly to the new kelvin definition).
b) Solve current outstanding questions related to the ITS-90 temperature fixed points, to clarify the discrepancies in their realization facilitating a reduction of their uncertainty.

This JRP is a challenge in the field of fundamental thermometry: it will solve some of the pressing weaknesses of the ITS-90 (T90) and will help make practical the link between the thermodynamic temperature T and the temperature defined by the ITS-90 T90.

This JRP offers solutions to the most pressing problems associated with high level practical temperature metrology, in the most widely used temperature range, from -218 ??C up to 1000 ??C.

As temperature is one of the most frequently measured physical quantities in science and industry, (for example pharmaceutical, semiconductors, petrochemistry or food processing industries) the impact of this project will be transmitted to both communities.

All National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) will benefit from the results of this project because of its direct and significant contribution to the developing MeP-K. iIn particular this work will facilitate:

– an improvement of the present uncertainties in the realization of the ITS-90,
– new dissemination methods and instruments to ensure traceability to the kelvin.

The impact of this project will go directly to users in science and industry because of its improved practicality: e.g.:

– new robust high performance sensors,
– development of practical primary thermometers, simpler, faster (in operation) and cheaper,
– reduction of the uncertainties in the measurement of temperature leading, for instance, to improved process tolerances in which temperature is a critical factor,
– new more accurate and faster calibration methods for contact thermometry.

Temperature is a fundamental parameter measured on a daily basis across a very broad spectrum of human endeavor e.g. in industry, health, meteorology, science etc. Hence the pool of beneficiaries for those two project is very large.

Contact: Dolores Del Campo at