Case Studies

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In the early morning light a tractor in the foreground is spraying pesticide over rows of low plants in a large open field

Developing the technology to accurately measure ammonia

Ammonia (NH3), a colourless, reactive gas, can cause substantial health damage due to its adverse effects on air quality. Once released into the atmosphere, it can form fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that has been linked to tens of thousands of premature deaths annually. It can also be absorbed by soils and plants, damaging th...

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Consumer changing incandescent lamp with a new LED light bulb

New photometry standards for measurement of solid-state lighting products

Conventionally the calibration of photometric equipment was performed with tungsten filament standard lamps with the standard illuminant A spectrum, which was published by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) in 1931 and was originally designed for use with incandescent lighting products. However, incandescent co...

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The BTS-Solar array spectroradiometer deployed at the 19ENV04 EMPIR MAPP field campaign at Izaña, Tenerife, September 2022

Improving the measurements used to protect atmospheric ozone

Ozone, comprised of three linked oxygen atoms, is generated in the stratosphere by the action of solar radiation on oxygen gas, and absorbs 99% of the sun’s biologically harmful UV-B radiation (280 - 315 nm) that is a cause of skin cancers in humans. A rare molecule, it is concentrated in a band around 20-25 km above sea level...

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Ensuring the accuracy of breath analysers to enforce drink driving regulations

Since 1938, when the first instrument for detecting alcohol in breath was developed, the ‘breathanalyser’ has become increasingly sophisticated. These instruments determine if a person has potentially consumed alcohol by measuring the concentration of ethanol in air exhaled from their lungs. They are now used by law enforcement...

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An improved method for studying nanometre-sized biological particles

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane-coated particles (30 nm - 1,000 nm) released from animal and plant cells. Originally thought to be unwanted cellular debris it has since been realised these are actively secreted, contain soluble molecules such as proteins and nucleic acids, and are involved in both normal and pat...

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A driver taking a breath test at the roadside

Sharing metrological knowledge in Europe to reduce alcohol-related road accident

The World Health Organisation has indicated that road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death in children and young adults in the European Region and the EC has estimated that 25 % of such fatalities are due to alcohol. Around 6,500 deaths could be prevented each year in Europe if drivers obeyed drinkdriving regulation...

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