The labs are in various states of modernization. The modernization includes upgrades to the hardware, software, methodologies, and the quality assurance management of the labs. The specific steps to achieve this and what the outcome of this effort looks like will be detailed.
As an example, the SFSC pressure lab contained a Hass MS-3 mercury manometer as its primary standard. In January 2013 at the United Nations Environment Programme’s Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty was agreed upon to eliminate the use of mercury by 2020, which includes the production, import and export of mercury-based weather instrumentation, including mercury manometers. It was determined that the SFSC should follow suit as mercury poses a health as well as an environmental hazard. This precipitated the upgrades to the pressure lab.
Ultimately, the modernization effort of the laboratories at the SFSC will allow the organization to partner with national and international entities to test and calibrate meteorological sensors for use in applications as wide-ranging as the Automated Surface Observing System to the United States upper air network to low-cost 3D printed sensors for use in emerging countries in Africa. The paper will discuss these applications as well as instrumentation that has been or will be acquired for the modernization effort of all of the labs at the SFSC.