Multiple observations are required to understand the environment and its evolution.
In the Arctic, efforts are motivated by the higher accuracy required in order to capture trends more rapidly, by the comparability among different sensors networks, by the necessity of ad-hoc calibration procedures, by logistic problems associated with remote places.
Metrology can bring a unique contribution to establish traceability, strengthen comparability and reduce uncertainties in data records.
Measurements in Arctic stations, integrated projects and networks, scientific infrastructures can benefit from these measurement capabilities, specific calibration procedures and the possibility to test instruments in-situ.
Since 2014, the Italian Institute of Metrology (INRiM) is active in the arctic area, thanks to a continuing cooperation with CNR-ISP (Polar Sciences Institute of the Italian National Research Council), which manages the “Dirigibile Italia” research station in Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard, Norway) and some research infrastructures for physical and chemical environmental parameters, like the “Amundsen-Nobile Climate Change Tower” (CCT) and the “Gruvebadet Atmospheric Laboratory” (GAL).
In 2017 the northernmost metrology laboratory in the world, the Vaskerilab, was established in Ny-Ålesund.
The laboratory, currently allowing for very high accuracy calibration of temperature and atmospheric pressure sensors, is available to the entire multi-national scientific community in Ny-Ålesund to ensure traceability and comparability of environmental data measured on the entire research area.
The ARCTIC METROLOGY WORKSHOPS
Since 2015, INRiM organizes and promotes an Arctic Metrology Workshop, for discussions and analysis of measurement problems in the Arctic and the further diffusion of metrological cultuer in cryospheric environments:
- Turin, April 2015
- Oslo, May 2016
- Ny-Ålesund, May 2017
- Oslo, November 2019 (in conjunction with Svalbard Science Conference)
- Longyearbyen, June 2022
The principal aims of the workshops are:
- The definition of specific needs that motivates the presence of a calibration laboratory in Ny-Ålesund;
- The proposals of further metrology activities supporting Arctic research, like the evaluation of in-field measurement uncertainties, including the effect of quantities of influence;
- Identification of available expertises from participant Institutes.