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Data uncertainty traced to SI units. Results reported in the International System of Units

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Remote sensor data reported as being traceable to the Système International d'Unités (SI) implies certain principles are followed to evaluate the uncertainty with which the data are reported. Unless these principles are followed to evaluate the uncertainty, remote sensor results will continue to be misinterpreted frequently. The demand for higher accuracy, remote sensor data mandates improvements in the way data quality is assessed and communicated within the remote sensing community. It is essential data be SI traceable for the results to have meaning scientist-to-scientist and programme-to-programme. A procedure for data to be reported as SI traceable is discussed. A case study is presented to illustrate the problems when data are reported without following the procedure to establish SI traceability. Another case study illustrates the scope of the effort necessary to report data SI. This paper also cites the SI base units as maintained by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). To know the principles were followed to establish data uncertainty gives full meaning to the statement: the results are reported to be SI traceable.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The University of Alabama in Huntsville Center for Applied Optics, OB422, 301 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA; e-mail: 2: Frontier Technology, Inc., Suite 450G, 100 Cummings Center, Beverly, MA, 01915, USA 3: 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8441, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8441, USA 4: 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8442, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8442, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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