May 20 is World Metrology Day, commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875. This treaty provides the basis for a coherent measurement system worldwide that underpins scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, as well as the improvement of the quality of life and the protection of the global environment.
The theme chosen for 2016 is Measurements in a dynamic world. This reflects both the challenge of accurately measuring dynamic quantities, for example the pressures in a combustion chamber, and the rapid pace of change in measurement science today.
Across the world, national metrology institutes continually advance measurement science by developing and validating new measurement techniques at whatever level of sophistication is needed. They also participate in comparisons coordinated by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) to ensure the reliability of measurement results worldwide. The BIPM also provides a forum for its Member States to address new measurement challenges.
Many measuring instruments such as continuous weighing machines, radars for measuring vehicle speed, etc. that are used to measure objects in motion are subject to legal requirements or to regulatory control. Additionally, new technologies constantly change both the way in which these instruments make measurements and the methods needed for their control – “smart” meters for energy or water are one example. The International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) develops International Recommendations, the aim of which is to align and harmonize requirements for these types of instruments worldwide.
World Metrology Day recognizes and celebrates the contribution of all the people that work in intergovernmental and national organizations throughout the year on behalf of all.