We need to improve the uncertainties associated with thermometer calibrations at Valeport, which will in turn allow us to offer more accurate temperature measurements in the field.
Additionally, this will also result in improved accuracies of associated sensors which also fundamentally rely on Temperature measurement, such as Conductivity (Salinity) and Sound Speed.
The specific problem that we have with seeking to improve our Temperature measurement capabilities is that despite already investing in state of the art equipment in our calibration laboratories, we are unable to further narrow down the accuracy specifications of our products.
To put this in context, we are currently able to confidently specify that our products will measure Temperature with an accuracy of ±0.
However, our international competitors (USA and Canada in particular) claim accuracies of the order of ±0.
001K, an order of magnitude better.
Worldwide, this market for science grade CTD products (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) amounts to several tens of millions of pounds, and given the limited number of competitors, we believe that it is entirely reasonable to expect to poach a minimum market share of 10, this would represent a minimum increase in export turnover of well over £2m per annum.
Having discussed the problem with our partner NPL, we believe that our greatest sources of error are generated by the instability of the raw temperature sensor and the instability and resolution of our existing interface circuit board.
The project will deliver us the understanding to develop our temperature measurement to provide an improved accuracy by an order of magnitude.
We will also benefit from the ability to support our accuracy claims by working with NPL.