Pressure Measurements

Measuring air pressure is important both in weather forecasting and in many industrial applications.  

In meteorology, air pressure and its changes relate to low and high-pressure fronts and their movements. A rapid drop in air pressure indicates an approaching storm or rain front, while increasing pressure brings the promise of clearer skies and sunshine. 

In industrial applications, pressure is measured in laboratories and life science applications, for example. 

Barocap sensor structure

What Makes Our Pressure Sensors Unique?

Vaisala’s proprietary BAROCAP® micromechanical sensor uses dimensional changes in its silicon membrane to measure pressure. As the surrounding pressure changes, the membrane bends, thereby changing the height of the vacuum gap inside the sensor.  

The opposite sides of the vacuum gap act as electrodes, and as the distance between the two electrodes increases or decreases, the sensor capacitance changes. The capacitance is measured and converted into a pressure reading. Read more about Vaisala’s BAROCAP® technology here

Measurement Excellence

The BAROCAP® sensor’s properties – good low temperature dependence and superior long-term stability – are the result of its single-crystal silicon material.  

The capacitive structure gives the sensor its wide dynamic range, very fast response time and provides a built-in mechanism for overpressure blocking.  

Vaisala Barocap Wafer in hand

Vaisala’s pressure offering includes digital barometers and barometric pressure sensors for measuring both barometric pressure and process pressure in industrial applications.  BAROCAP®  barometers operate over a wide temperature range and perform reliably even in highly demanding applications such as professional meteorology and aviation. 

Vaisala offers also multi-parameter products, combining pressure measurements with dew point, humidity and temperature data. 

Typical Weather-Related Applications

Barometric pressure measurement has a wide variety of applications within meteorology. It is commonly used in weather, aviation, hydrology, and agrology applications. 

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), analyzed pressure fields are a fundamental requirement of meteorology. It is one of the key parameters for numerical weather models as pressure data is required for defining the high and low pressure systems.     

For numerical weather modeling it is imperative that these pressure fields are accurately defined as they form the basis for all subsequent preconditions of the state of the atmosphere. Typically a high pressure system indicates nice weather and low pressure system predicts precipitation or cloudy conditions. Thus, accurate atmospheric pressure measurements are crucial.  

Barometric pressure is also a crucial parameter in aviation applications where it is used to set the aircraft altimeters. Therefore, it is used as operational safety instrument in aviation systems.  

Typical Industrial Applications

Barometric pressure data is also required in several industrial applications. It is measured in pressure-sensitive industrial equipment, such as laser interferometers and lithography systems, engine-testing benches, and in exhaust-gas analysis.  

Industrial Pressure Measurement Application

Metrological applications include laboratory pressure standard measurements and environmental monitoring in calibration laboratories.  

Pressure measurements can be critical also in regulated life science and high technology cleanroom applications. In these applications, continuous, documented and redundant data is a required to meet regulations. 

Benefits of Vaisala’s BAROCAP®  sensors

Excellent long term stability

Accuracy over complete temperature range

Reliable single crystal technology

Wide measurement range with fast response

Pressure measurement related products

Meteorological Installation Kit HMT330MIK

The Vaisala Meteorological Installation Kit HMT330MIK enables the Vaisala HUMICAP® Humidity and Temperature Transmitter HMT337 to be installed outdoors to obtain reliable measurements for meteorological purposes.

Precipitation

Weather Transmitter WXT530 Series

The perfect mix of accurate air pressure, temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed, and wind direction data to measure weather conditions without the expense or magnitude of an automatic weather station.

PTB210 Digital Barometer

Excellent solution for outdoor installations. Operates in a wide temperature range. The housing provides IP65 (NEMA4) compliant protection against sprayed water.

Indigo520 with probes

Barometric pressure measurements with Indigo520 Transmitter

The Indigo520 transmitter with the barometric pressure measurement module combined with one or two of the Indigo-compatible humidity and temperature measurement probes is a unique combination of a meteorological-grade barometer in a single industrial device. 

Differential Pressure Transmitter PDT102

A high performance instrument designed primarily for life science and high technology cleanroom applications, the PDT102 features a robust MEMS silicon sensor technology that provides superior accuracy, sensitivity, stability and durability.

Static Pressure Heads SPH10/20

Variations due to strong and gusty wind can be overcome by using a static pressure head to ‘filter out’ the effect of dynamic pressure. 

PTB110 Barometer

Vaisala BAROCAP® Barometer PTB110 is designed both for accurate barometric pressure measurements at a room temperature and for general environmental pressure monitoring over a wide temperature range.