Description of VSL

VSL is appointed as the Dutch National Standards laboratory for the maintenance and development of physical Primary Standards and Reference Materials. High-accuracy, internationally recognised calibrations are executed against these standards for scientific institutes, (accredited) calibration laboratories and for high-quality industrial laboratories and industry.

VSL has vast experience in the preparation of gaseous reference materials (by primary methods) and analysis of impurities at ppb levels. These reference materials are used to provide traceability to higher standards for many different types of gas analysis including calorific value determination of natural gas and ppb level analysis of global warming gases.

In total a group of 16 scientists and technicians are involved in this activity. VSL was responsible for the coordination of the first series of key-comparisons between National Metrology Institutes within the framework of the BIPM in the field of gas composition and is still one of the most active laboratories in organising these comparisons.

In underpinning the Quality Assurance programs in industry, VSL is organising Proficiency Testing Schemes for a range of gas mixtures in collaboration with industrial gas suppliers for more than 10 years.

After being the first National Metrology Institute to implement a commercial set up for Cavity Ring down Spectroscopy in 1999, our research is focusing since then on the implementation of a facility for a wide range of components at trace levels (ranging from water vapour to NH3 and VOC’s). VSL has built its own research facility in close collaboration with the University of Nijmegen. This development is part of a European Metrology Program iMERA project on early disease detection via breath analysis that has started in 2008 and will be completed in 2011.