Why it's important to accurately measure barometric pressure

May 22, 2017

Weather Station Barometric PressureWhile changes in barometric pressure aren’t immediately obvious to human perception (except when your ears pop while hiking up a mountain), its effects can manifest themselves in many other ways. This is especially true in sensitive industrial and laboratory settings.

Labs and Kitchens

Many research and development labs will use barometers to measure the barometric pressure at one facility then use that data to replicate the exact same environment at another research lab. For example, when testing at a lab in Colorado versus one in New York, the barometric pressure can be significantly different, therefore affecting the results of the test or experiment. Unless they’re testing in a completely perfect vacuum, lab technicians need to compensate for this factor.

A more accessible example on the effects of atmospheric pressure is baking. Because the rate in which fluids evaporate changes with high or low pressure, cooking times and durations need to be adjusted at higher elevations.

Other Barometric Pressure Sensor Applications

  • Research labs as a standard reference
    • Gauge transducers cannot be used because the reference changes every time you are doing a test (i.e. if atmospheric pressure is different, it will affect the pressure being read).
  • Differential pressure applications at nuclear facilities
    • Stability and accuracy allow sensors to be used for long periods of time, which is important because once the sensor wears down, it must be disposed of (sensors cannot be recalibrated because they will be contaminated with radiation).
  • GPS/Location accuracy
    • Barometric pressure can change the accuracy of mobile signals that bounce off cell towers – measuring and compensating for barometric pressure can help pinpoint location, even within a building.
  • Aircraft altimeters
    • Altimeters, a vital component within an aircraft, calculate and display altitude by measuring the barometric pressure and converting that measurement into altitude. The greater the altitude of the aircraft, the lower the altimeter pressure reading.


Stability and accuracy are the most important aspects of a barometric pressure sensors. These devices are often used on remote weather stations and data buoys where routine recalibrations are simply not practical. You probably wouldn’t want to take a test stand out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Setra’s ceramic technology makes our sensors some of the most stable and accurate in the market; thermal hysteresis is very stable especially on ceramic sensors.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Setra’s line of barometric pressure sensors.

Topics: Barometric, General Industrial