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Well measured environmental interventions

For 60 years, Germany’s National Metrology Institute Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) has been promoting the improvement of metrology systems and quality infrastructure within its partner countries in the Global South. Metrology and quality infrastructure are fundamental for the reliable measurement of all environmental parameters. Thus, geoscientific research heavily relies on them as a basis for comparable and accurate data.

Quality infrastructure includes metrology, standardization, testing, quality management, certification, and accreditation. PTB endeavours to strengthen all these components in its technical cooperation projects. For example, PTB works with its partner institutions in the Global South on the adaptation and development of environmental standards. These include, among others, standards concerning soil and water quality. Furthermore, PTB supports the process of accreditation of analytical test laboratories to increase credibility of environmental data on water, air, and soil.
All environmental data relies on the conformity of units. Accredited laboratories need to proof the traceability of their measurements up to the highest metrological authorities. PTB therefore strengthens National Metrology Institutes in its partner countries with regards to environmental services.

In the presentation, the components of quality infrastructure and their importance for geosciences will be introduced. Highlights from PTB projects in India and Guatemala will showcase success stories of improved quality infrastructure in the context of international cooperation for geoscientific applications.


Franziska Wende1, Tim Gottschlag1
1Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany
GeoBerlin 2023