In the current issue of Scientific American magazine, there is a short blurb about the invention of a new kind of thermometer that is able to interpret data directly tied to a fundamental number, the Boltzman constant. See the article here.
Physicists like that kind of stuff. You know, a meter is the distance light of a certain wavelength travels in a vacuum in a very short period of time. I have to admit, I’m not sure how they measure 1/299,792,458th of a second.
Anyway, I’m glad that we in the industrial and process calibrator business don’t have to get down to that level. All of our common signals end up being mostly DC voltages. They are pretty small and you have to design to keep noise and interference from ruining your measurement, but it can be done with great accuracy.
Martel’s real claim to fame in the temperature calibration game, is simulation of RTD signals along with very accurate measurement of the same.
A big challenge for RTD simulation is the ability to simulate to devices that strobe or pulse the excitation current. You have to be able to measure the current quickly and accurately, and then generate an opposing voltage that looks like a resistance to the device on the other end.
We have also learned to be able to measure RTD signals with lab accuracy in a hand held device. Have a look at our PTC-8001 temperature calibrator for a great RTD calibrator that also has a great thermocouple calibrator hidden inside.