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By: NASA Kennedy Tech Transfer News

What does an innovator do when existing methods of calibrating a critical environment pressure sensor are cumbersome and produce shoddy results? Richard Deyoe and Stephen Stout, ASRC Aerospace meteorologists based at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, decided to design and build their own calibration unit. Now, Setra Systems—the company whose pressure sensor Deyoe and Stout were trying to calibrate—is using their invention to improve its own product line.

In the early 1990s, Deyoe and Stout wanted an accurate, cost-effective technique to perform onsite qualification testing of Setra Systems’ Model C264, a new, high-accuracy, low-differential pressure transducer. The basic problem was that new pressure transducer technology and accuracy had exceeded the accuracy of commercially available calibration equipment. For the qualification testing, a portable, lower-cost calibrator was needed that could control the differential pressure to a high degree of resolution without having to be in an environmentally controlled room, and have the capability to transfer the accuracy of the standards laboratory into the qualification testing.