The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

New Measurement Standards and Methods for Photometry and Radiometry

Jari Hovila

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission of the Department of Electrical and Communications Engineering for public examination and debate in Auditorium S1 at Helsinki University of Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 9th of December, 2005, at 12 noon.

Overview in PDF format (ISBN 951-22-7955-X)   [436 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 951-22-7954-1)


Concordance of measurement units is a prerequisite for international trade, telecommunication and scientific co-operation. National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) develop, maintain and compare these measurement units to ensure world-wide consistency. This thesis presents new national measurement standards for luminance, spectral radiance and luminous flux developed at the Metrology Research Institute, which is the NMI for optical quantities in Finland. In addition, evaluation of photometer calibration methods is presented followed by a correction method for illuminance responsivity calibrations of commercial luxmeters.

The units of luminance and spectral radiance are realized using a characterized reference photometer, a spectroradiometer and an integrating-sphere light source. The realization of the unit of luminous flux (lumen) is based on a 1.65-m integrating sphere instead of a goniophotometer. This is one of the first realizations of lumen in the world using the absolute integrating sphere method originally introduced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA). The measurement set-ups and the characterization measurements are presented with comprehensive uncertainty analysis for each unit. Based on the analyses, the expanded uncertainties (k = 2) of the units of luminance and luminous flux are calculated to be 0.36 % and 0.47 %, respectively. The measurement uncertainty for the luminous flux is one of the lowest values ever reported. The validity of the claimed uncertainty is tested by international comparison measurements.

Two methods to calibrate a photometer that measures light-emitting diode (LED) sources are evaluated. This pioneering study shows that narrow spectra and challenging intensity distributions of LED-based light sources require thorough characterization measurements for both the photometer and the LED source. The results from these measurements are presented and compared, followed by a recommendation concerning the preferred calibration method.

A diffuser that improves the angular response of a luxmeter also affects the effective measurement plane, leading to substantial errors in calibration if this plane is simply assumed to be at the outermost surface of the diffuser. For the first time, extensive research was carried out to determine the diffuser reference planes of commercial luxmeters. A number of test measurements with three diffusers of different shapes were conducted to find out that in reality the reference planes are located several millimeters inside the diffuser. At short distances, this causes systematic errors of several per cent in the measured illuminance values, greatly exceeding the calibration uncertainties. A correction method based on the true shift of the reference plane is presented to correct the erroneous calibration results.

This thesis consists of an overview and of the following 6 publications:

  1. P. Toivanen, J. Hovila, P. Kärhä, E. Ikonen. Realizations of the units of luminance and spectral radiance at the HUT. Metrologia 37, 527-530 (2000). © 2000 Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). By permission.
  2. K. Lahti, J. Hovila, P. Toivanen, E. Vahala, I. Tittonen, E. Ikonen. Realization of the luminous-flux unit using an LED scanner for the absolute integrating-sphere method. Metrologia 37, 595-598 (2000). © 2000 Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). By permission.
  3. J. Hovila, P. Toivanen, E. Ikonen. Realization of the unit of luminous flux at the HUT using the absolute integrating-sphere method. Metrologia 41, 407-413 (2004). © 2004 Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). By permission.
  4. J. Hovila, P. Toivanen, E. Ikonen, Y. Ohno. International comparison of the illuminance responsivity scales and units of luminous flux maintained at the HUT (Finland) and the NIST (USA). Metrologia 39, 219-223 (2002). © 2002 Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). By permission.
  5. J. Hovila, P. Kärhä, L. Mansner, E. Ikonen. Evaluation of calibration methods of a photometer measuring maritime light-emitting diode buoy lanterns. Optical Engineering 43, 170-173 (2004). © 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). By permission.
  6. J. Hovila, M. Mustonen, P. Kärhä, E. Ikonen. Determination of the diffuser reference plane for accurate illuminance responsivity calibrations. Applied Optics 44, 5894-5898 (2005). © 2005 Optical Society of America (OSA). By permission.

Keywords: photometry, radiometry, calibration, measurement standard, optical detectors, light-emitting diodes, diffusers

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© 2005 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26