The traceability chain - the link to basic quantities

A key concept of measurement technology is that of traceability, which means that all measurements made with a calibrated instrument or device must have a directly traceable link back to the defined quantity.
The first link in the traceability chain is RISE national standard

The direct relationship is provided by a traceability chain, each link of which is represented by a calibrated measurement standard. The first link in the chain must be a national standard, such as those held or maintained/provided by RISE.  All users of traceably calibrated measuring devices or instruments can therefore be quite certain that they really are using the same unit.  The chain can be extended to any number of links, although each additional link increases the uncertainty of measurement. 

The traceability pyramid

The concept of traceability is therefore usually represented by a traceability pyramid.  At the top of the pyramid is the definition of (say) the metre.  Below it are all the links in the traceability chain, with the width of the pyramid therefore becoming broader as the uncertainty of measurement increased.  A basic rule of thumb is that the fewer the links, the less the uncertainty of measurement. 

Calibration services

RISE calibration services cover essentially all calibration requirements in all technology areas.Read more...

Measurement Science and Technology

Most of our measurement technology activities are gathered here. We are also a national metrology centre, and are among the world leaders in traceable measurement technology. Read more...

RISE is designated as National Metrology Centre

RISE is designated as National metrology centre by the Swedish Government. As National Laboratory we have the best resources and the best competence in our country. Read more...

Related Information

Contact Persons

Jan Johansson

Phone: +46 10 516 55 04

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail

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