Metrology is the science of measurement used to determine physical quantities. It establishes a shared understanding of different units, vital in associating human activities with specific dates. Its concepts are based on those of other disciplines such as astronomy, mechanics and engineering. Modern metrology has its origins in the historical context of the French Revolution, when a standard length measure taken from an organic source was proposed as an official measure.
The development of modern metrology considers many fields of application, ranging from everyday life to the industrial, political and economic milieu. For instance, measuring the height and weight of employees has become widespread practice since it enables employers to properly assess their employees’ capabilities, as well as their performance level and aptitude for a particular job. As part of industrial practice, metrology is utilised in the manufacture of machinery, industrial products and industrial processes. Some of these applications include the mechanical measurement of the various dimensions of components and systems, for example, in the production of automobiles, jet aircraft and even space shuttles. Such measurements are also taken for the purpose of manufacturing goods in line with specifications provided by various industrial partners.
Another area where the measurement of many kinds of quantitative quantities undergoes metrology is in the scientific and technical instruments and equipment used for such purpose. For example, in the manufacturing of telescopes, mirrors and camera lenses, exact measurements are crucial to product quality and to the success of a manufacturer. In engineering, such precision measurements are essential to the efficient manufacture and operation of mechanical and electrical devices. Measurement systems using advanced techniques such as the metric system, the international system and the rational numerical analysis are used in the engineering process.
Metrology has an important role in the education sector also. The application of standards and quality measures to enhance teaching methods and improve student learning and retention levels is one such application. In fact, there are entire sections of schools and colleges that have been accredited by the Metrica division of UNESCO. This division not only promotes education for persons having knowledge and skills in this field but also conducts research into the measurement of quality and performance and makes educational standards a priority. This ensures that the measurement devices and equipments obtainable in the schools and colleges are up to the mark are certified and meet the requirements by international and national regulatory bodies.
Global positioning System is another area where metrology finds applications. GPS or Global Positioning System is an improved version of the old system which was the Global Navigation Satellite System. This new system makes use of the Global Positioning Service and the U.S. geographical coordinates system to provide accurate geophysical data in a format which can be read by the global positioning system. As GPS does not require reference points, its use is preferred over the former satellite-based methods of positioning.
In conclusion, metrology has made significant advances through the use of advanced instruments and technological improvements. These instruments have enabled precision measurement techniques to be applied on a global scale and increased the ability to observe and measure real time changes. The three basic requirements on metrology and realisation of traceability in the industry have thus been fulfilled with greater efficiency and effectiveness.