Software for measurement uncertainty calculation
10 April 2013
The paper illustrates the novel approach of using 'uncertain numbers' to perform data processing. Uncertain numbers are software entities that can represent estimates of measured quantities and encapsulate the uncertainty of those estimates. They allow the process of uncertainty propagation in mathematical equations to be fully automated.
Data processing can be expressed clearly and intuitively, because the uncertain numbers representing measured quantities are combined in familiar ways to obtain a result. The associated calculation of uncertainty is almost completely transparent to the user.
Uncertain-number software both simplifies the task of evaluating uncertainty and allows more challenging problems to be addressed. The work underpins several current projects at MSL, including the evaluation of uncertainty for complex-valued impedance measurements, at radio and microwave frequencies, and the development of a tool for certifying metering installations that are used for trading electricity.
The paper is available on-line (http://stacks.iop.org/0957-0233/24/055004). During the month of April, public access is free.
Contact person: Blair Hall