World Metrology Day has become an annual celebration since the Meter Convention was signed by representatives of seventeen countries on May 20, 1875. The convention set the framework for international collaboration in the science of measurement including its industrial, commercial and societal applications. Worldwide uniformity of measurement - the Meter Convention's original aim remains as important as it was in 1875. Indeed, metrology plays a central role in the qualitative improvment of life and the protection of global environment through any scientific discovery, innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade.
With the theme Measurements for transport, World Metrology Day 2017 emphasises the key role of transportation in the modern world. Apart from themselves, human beings move the food they eat, the clothes they wear, the goods they use or rely on alongside the raw materials such goods are made from. In addition to safety, efficiency and minimal environment impact, the movement of both people and cargo require an amazing range of measurements.
Whilst requirements for better means of transportation are obvious, it is also important to meet emerging criteria of economy and environmental performance. Every type of transport - from bicycles to container ships, from cars to spacecrafts - is required to meet appropriate standards as the basis for domestic and international regulation. Such policy can specify essentials for every aspect of performance like safety, economy and emissions.
Moreover, the implementation of standards depends on measurement technology and measurement standards. Some of the most demanding requirements underpinned by the work of metrology institutes include - accurate and rapid weighing of shipping containers to ensure the safeloading of container ships, characterisation of low-friction surfaces and aerodynamic shapes of aircraft to minimise fuel consumption, and valid measurements of the chemical composition of vehicle emissions to support regulators and city authorities in controlling pollution levels.
As demands for accessible and efficient transport increase, so for measurements and standards to underpin them. Ultimately, some of the demands are met by new technologies like driverless cars and zero-emission vehicles - consecutively generating new measurement challenges.
LENGTH OF JOURNEY: Kilometre is a metric unit used to measure the length of a journey. Traffic flow: vehicle-kilometer as a measure of traffic flow determined by the multiplication of vehicles on a given road or traffic network based on average length of their trips measured in kilometers.
PASSENGERS PER BUS HOUR: A system may carry a high number of passengers per distance kilometre but a relatively-low number of passengers per bus hour if vehicles operate in congested areas and hence travel slowly.
PASSENGERS PER BUS DISTANCE: A transit system serving a community with a widely-dispersed population must operate circuitous routes carrying fewer passengers per distance kilometre. A higher number is more favourable.
FREIGHT: A simple unit of freight is the kilogram-kilometer (kgkm) - the service of moving one kilogram of payload at a distance of one kilometer. Payload-distance: kilogram-kilometer or kgkm, moving one kilogram of cargo at a distance of one kilometre; Derivation: The dimension of the measure is the product of the payload mass and the distance transported.
UNITS OF TRANSPORTATION DENSITY: Transportation density can be defined as the payload per period such as passenger -day or tone-day. This can be used as the measure of transportation intensity on a particular section or point of transportation infrastructure such as road or railway. This can be used in comparison with the construction, running costs of the infrastructure.
Evidently, legal metrology has become part of our daily lives. As a result, transport is playing a crucial role. Water, gas, and electricity should be transported from their source to their point of use such as homes or businesses. Petrol and diesel also need to be transported from their source through the refinery to the storage tanks and finally to our automobiles and trucks much of the produce, vegetables, meat and other staples need to be transported from the sources to local market.
Road, rail, air, water, cable and pipe provide with a medium for the transport of people and goods. Many products such as smartphones, computers or televisions are manufactured in one location before being transported to their respective retail outlets. Plus, water is supposed to be transported over great distances to meet agricultural and urban demands.
Some 30 different countries of the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML) recommendations relate to some form of transport and provide standards for equipment used to measure various aspects of the transportation chain. These recommendations provide solutions to a number of issues - instruments for measuring vehicle exhaust emissions, Evidential breath analysers, road and rail tankers with level gauging, automatic rail-weighbridges, automatic instruments for weighing road vehicles in motion and measuring axle loads, continuous totalising automatic weighing instruments (belt weathers) and moisture metres for cereal grains and oilseeds
Along with safety, economy and accurate transport - Dhaka is slowly becoming a vital part of Bangladesh's poverty reduction . As the world's businessmen and citizens depend on access to safe and reliable transport, whether it is trading with neighbors from nearby towns or locations halfway around the world, most people are either recipients or providers of transportation. At present, metrology is still one of the fundamental factors enabling a successful modern society.
The writer is the Director
General of Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB).
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