The D.I. Mendeleev All-Russian Institute for Metrology (VNIIM) news

VNIIM confirms a highest accuracy of mass measurements

The D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology (VNIIM) updated the State Primary Measurement Standard of Mass following the redefinition of the kilogram as a part of the redefinition of the SI base units.

Despite the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our specialists conducted a number of studies that confirmed compliance of the mass standard characteristics with the hereto achieved at the international level.

The scientist-custodian of the mass standard, Yuri Kamenskih, notes that due to this improvement, the uncertainty in the unit transfer became 10 times smaller: from 6 ∙ 10-9 kg to 6 ∙ 10-10 kg, vacuum weighing technology was mastered, and accuracy of measurements in the sub-milligram range was achieved. Those improvements are essential for calibration of microbalances with an uncertainty less than 1 mg widely used in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and in the ongoing environmental research. The upgrade of our primary mass standard now enables Russia to participate in new international comparisons and provides a basis for declaration of new calibration and measurement capabilities.

Further important improvements will be needed, as soon as a domestic watt-balance is developed to conform to the newly adopted definition of the kilogram based on the fixed Plank constant instead of the platinum-iridium artifact.

Competence and measurement capabilities of Russian scientists in quantitative assessment of the causative agent of COVID-19 viral RNA have been confirmed at the highest presently possible level of accuracy. Four Russian scientific organizations participated in a number of comparison tests under the auspices of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM). Twenty one National Metrology Institutes and expert medical laboratories from 16 countries participated in the tests, including three institutions from Russia:

  • the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza (Health Ministry),
  • the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University and VNIIMS (joint project),
  • the D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology (Rosstandart).

The researches had a common task: using high-precision methods to measure content of viral genome fragments, which the bulk of SARS-CoV-2 tests were aimed to detect.

The Acting Director of the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza, Dr. Dmitry Lioznov, notes that the pandemy of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 identified a critical need to develop tests for its determination and diagnosis of COVID-19, and that the reliability of resting, taking into account its specificity and sensitivity, is a key for their practical clinical use. He states, that the joint study is an important step towards harmonization of methods for measuring SARS-CoV-2 RNA content and its results will undoubtedly be in demand to develop new PCR test systems or to improve the existing ones.

The presented results are not only consistent with each other, but also coincided with the results of alternative methods traceable to the International System of Units (SI). Such a large-scale demonstration of the equivalence of viral RNA quantitative assessment results will significantly improve testing reliability and will contribute to effective response to the pandemic.

Main Chamber of Weights and Measures Chronicles

Collection of books and journals of the Metrology Museum and Research Library of VNIIM contains unique publications on the history of metrology from late 19th – early 20th centuries. Among them, the first metrological journal in Russia – Main Chamber of Weights and Measures Chronicles -occupies a particular place, all 16 issues of which can be found in the VNIIM electronic library. Subject index and index of names for the first 12 issues of the Chronicles are included in vol. 1(13), 1925.

Among the rarities preserved exclusively in the Metrological Museum is the first issue of the Chronicles autographed by D.I. Mendeleyev that he ordered to always be held on his office desk. It contains the “Regulations of the Main Chamber of Weights and Measures” which defines the purpose of the Chamber and its main tasks, and also a foreword written by Mendeleyev with a short overview of the history of the Chamber. Journals donated to the Museum from private libraries of the oldest employees (A.N. Dobrokhotov, M.N. Mladentsev, A.K. Kolosov) contain their bookplates.

Materials published in the Chronicles are an important source fully revealing the essence of Mendeleyev’s metrological reform and the course of its implementation in Russia.

In 1932, a monument to Mendeleyev by I.Ya. Gintzburg was installed in the Chamber’s garden square. The scientist is sculptured with an open book in his hands, and next to him there is a journal titled “Main Chamber of Weights and Measures Chronicles” – in that way the publication was immortalized in bronze.

VNIIM  takes part in COOMET TC 1.9 Meeting

The 17th Online Meeting of COOMET TC 1.9 Ionizing Radiation and Radioactivity was held on November 30, 2020.

Specialists from 8 COOMET Member States (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Slovakia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine) and the IAEA Representative discussed implementation of current and future topics, as well as realization of COOMET Development Program activities.

Nikolai N. Moiseev, TC 1.9 Chairman and Head of Neutron Measurements Laboratory at VNIIM, states that next year the Institute is to complete previously initiated works and will begin preparations for a new international COOMET comparison as Coordinator.

VNIIM’s resources for advanced economic regulations

The D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology became a member of TC Circular Economy, Collaborative Consumption, and Sustainable Financing (TC 483) approved by the Rosstandart Order on November, 24. The TC is created within sharing economy (consumer economy), a new area for Russia. Its goal is to provide advanced data, experience, standards, risk management solutions and analytics necessary for sustainable financing, minimizing risks, and social and environmental responsibility when making financial decisions.

Issues covered by TC 483 are important for introducing new technologies, digitalization, and reengineering processes. Members of this association are federal executive authorities, universities, scientific, public and financial organizations.

At their meeting on November 26, members of the Commission on Education and Science of the Rosstandart Public Council presented a preliminary analysis of problems and action plan on training and retraining of highly-qualified personnel in the fields of metrology, standardization, and quality management. The D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology was represented by its Acting General Director, Anton N. Pronin, and Deputy General Director, Mikhail V. Okrepilov.

The Commission Chairman, Mr. V. Shkodyrev, notes that improvement of professional competences and educational standards requires strategic thinking and understanding of key trends in development of standardization theory and systems, metrological certification and quality management, as well as tighter integration with academic system and creation of specialized competence centers of the National Technological Initiative (NTI), etc.

According to Mr. Okrepilov, programs of supplementary professional training are an important component of training and retraining of personnel, and high quality of such programs can only be provided by licensing on the State level. The meeting resulted in proposals and the Commission work plan for 2021.

VNIIM and NIM continue cooperation
published: 27.11.2020

VNIIM and NIM continue cooperation

The D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology specialists exchanged the results of Russian-Chinese cooperation and discussed prospects in the field of metrological assurance of energy resources quality control.

The 9th meeting of the Working subgroup on metrological support of energy resources of the Permanent Russian-Chinese Working group on standardization, metrology, conformity assessment and inspection control was held online on November 23, 2020. The Chinese side was represented by the National Institute of Metrology (NIM), PetroChina. Sinopec China and National Petroleum China.

VNIIM discussed issues of international metrology, certification, and standardization

Representatives of the D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology took part in the 52nd online meeting of the Scientific and Technical Commission on Metrology (NTKMetr) under the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification (EASC). VNIIM delegation was composed of Chairmen of Working Groups on Reference Materials (RMWG), International Comparisons Testing (ICTWG), and Non-Destructive Testing (NDTWG).

NDTWG Chairperson and VNIIM Deputy General Director on Science, Konstantin V. Chekirda, reported on the progress in implementing the decisions of the last meeting. RMWG Chairperson S. Medvedevskikh and ICTWG Chairperson O. Ponomareva of UNIIM – branch of D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology discussed the following issues: recognition of national reference materials of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia as national reference materials (NRMs); and implementation and updating of the Program for development and revision of the underlying documents of traceability system.

ICTWG presented work results for 2019–2020 and initiated discussions of plans for 2021. The Draft Certificate of an ICT Participant necessary to confirm participation of laboratories in interstate programs, sparked a heated debate.

VNIIM takes lead in offline communications

Thee D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology has ranked among the top three scientific organizations in the field of public offline communications. At the IV Russian Forum on Scientific Communication, the Institute won Communication Laboratory-2020 bronze award in the nomination “Experiment”. The Judging Panel commended work of the Press Relations Office in developing new formats and communication channels to popularize scientific activities. The experts highlighted the metrological game for children “SI Earth”, a collaboration project with the Center for Scientific Communication of ITMO University and "Gonzo-design" studio.

Head of the Organizing Committee, Alexandra Borisova, noted that the award attracts more and more participants each year, while standards and compliance tools become tougher. “We congratulate the winners and sincerely thank the participants for their willingness to share their best media practices” – says Borisova.

Communication Laboratory Award is the first professional award in Russia for a specialist in scientific communication. This award is given to specialists and teams of scientific and educational organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in ensuring dialogue between science and society.

Ingenious russian setup for genetic research tested at VNIIM

A State testing of the first home-made whole-genome DNA sequencing machine Nanofor SPS has been recently completed at VNIIM and recognized successful. Its hard- and software were developed by the Institute of Analytical Instrumentation of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The reagents were prepared by the Syntol Research and Production Company.

The device is based on the PCR Colony method engineered by the RAS 30 years ago. At the present stage the method is realized to be used domestically as a technology for the massive parallel DNA sequencing (MPS).

The main technical feature of this setup that distinguishes it from its foreign analogues is its unique optical detector that provides a better sensitivity. The set of reagents realizing the principle of sequencing by synthesis also implements a number of know-hows which provides a longer length of reading of mapped DNA sequences than its analogues, which is extremely important for a number of applications, especially in the field of personalized medicine.

The Deputy Head of Rosstandart Mr S. Golubev pointed out that the home-made equipment and reagents will make sequencing technologies more accessible and will help bring medical and epidemiological research to a new level. Development of domestic instrumental and reagent base for genetic research requires development of reference materials and reference methods designed to ensure metrological traceability of measurement results.

The testing was carried out in several stages and ended with mapping and assembly of the DNA of a microorganism that is pathogenic for humans - Mycobacterium tuberculosis, provided by the Federal Research and Clinical Center of Physical-Chemical Medicine (FMBA). The test results confirmed the full compliance of the ingenious Russian setup, reagents and the MPS software with the advanced foreign analogues.

The Head of the D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology, Mr A. Pronin, mentioned that the first step towards creating the corresponding metrological infrastructure should be inclusion of nucleotide sequence as a non-system unit in the Regulations on measurement units allowed for the use in the Russian Federation. Serial production of the device and reagents is planned to be launched in 2021 at the RAS’ Experimental Factory of Scientific Engineering located in the town of Chernogolovka.

As a part of implementation of the Strategy for the Development of Ensuring the Uniformity of Measurements in the Russian Federation until 2025, a group of experts from scientific organizations of Rosstandart (VNIIM, VNIIFTRI, VNIIOFI, VNIIMS) worked out recommendations on development, certification, and application of standard and primary reference measuring procedures. The latter were approved by VNIM and registered as a normative and methodical document of the State System Ensuring the Uniformity of Measurements, MI 3627-2020.

This document will favor the introduction into metrological practice of a new instrument to ensuring the uniformity of measurements, intended for assessing the accuracy of measurement results obtained by other measuring procedures (methods) and to determine characteristics of reference materials.

The priority areas for the applications of reference procedures are measurements performed in clinical diagnostical tests, conformity assessment of food and animal feed in accordance with safety requirements, and for environmental protection.

As explained by the Head of VNIIM, Mr A. Pronin, the new document summarizes all the experience accumulated over the last three years in the development of standard and primary reference measurement procedures, and takes into account the provisions of international documents related to metrological traceability of measurement results.

International conference on flowmetry organized by VNIIM

Topical issues of metrological support of measurements in the fuel and energy complex were discussed at the Tatarstan Oil and Gas Chemical Forum. The traditional International Conference on urgent issues of metrological support of measurement of flow and quantity of liquids and gases, which took place on September 2-4 in the city of Kazan, gathered more than one hundred industry companies, representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, Ministry of Energy of Russia, RosAccreditation, scientific organizations of Rosstandart, Centers of Standardization and Metrology. The conference was organized by VNIIM. In his online greeting, the Deputy Director of the Department of State Policy in the field of technical regulation and ensuring the uniformity of measurements of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, Mr D. Kuznetsov, called the conference a significant event that takes a central place among other industry events. The Head of Department, Mr M. Letunovsky, told about the work of the Ministry to improve the regulatory system to ensure the uniformity of measurements. The Deputy Director of the Department of Oil and Gas Production and Transportation of the Ministry of Energy Mr A. Savinov presented to specialists the Action Plan for the implementation of the Technical Regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union "On the safety of natural gas fuel for transportation and use", and spoke about joint activities with Rosstandart to update and create new standards in the field of gas resources accounting. Mrs Yu. Danilina, Deputy Head of the RosAccreditation Department for the Volga Federal District, reported on the procedure for accreditation taking into account the spreading of the coronavirus infection. The Head of VNIIM, Mr A. Pronin, informed about the development of the stock of measurement standards in the framework of the implementation of the State Strategy for Ensuring Uniformity of Measurements until 2025 and the challenges faced by VNIIM and its branches. The merger of some Russian metrology institutes will give a noticeable synergetic effect both in general and in individual areas. Stages of digital transformation of the system for ensuring the uniformity of measurements and the first results of implementation of the modernized system FGIS "Arshin" were presented to the conference participants by Mr A. Yashin, Deputy Director of VNIIM of the Metrology Service of Rosstandart. Mr Bodo Mikan, Head of the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB), joined the conference online. After the plenary session that took place on the 4th of September, there was an open meeting of the Interstate Technical Committee MGK 553 and Technical Committee of TC 024, where the specialists were acquainted with the stock of measurement standards maintained at VNIIR (branch of VNIIM). According to the conference participants, the event was held at a high scientific and organizational level and was actually the first one in the metrological community after the beginning of lifting of coronavirus restrictions in the Russian Federation.

VNIIM expands mass unit dissemination to sub-milligram rangevniim

VNIIM carried out work related with transition to vacuum weighing with the State Primary Standard of the mass unit (kilogram) and thus expanding the range of unit dissemination in the sub-milligram range (masses from 0.05 mg to 0.5 mg). It provides metrological support of microbalances having an error below 1 mg for 50 µg, 100 µg, 200 µg and 500 µg weights. It was calibrated against the initial weight of 1.0 mg traceable to the standard kilogram.

The work on improving the standard was carried out following requests from organizations engaged in precise measurements of mass for physical and chemical analyses of various substances. Now the regional bodies of Rosstandart and accredited laboratories will be able to operate the existing and to create new secondary and working standards in the sub-milligram range. More information is here (in Russian).

Yuri V. Tarbeev has passed away
published: 08.06.2020

Юрий Васильевич Тарбеев

09.08.1931 – 05.06.2020

The D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology (VNIIM) records with deep sorrow the untimely departure of our outstanding metrology scientist, teacher and a public figure, Dr. Yuri Tarbeev. Metrology has become his calling, the embodiment of knowledge, creativity, and great enthusiasm. He devoted more of 30 years of his life to VNIIM, of which he gave 22 years to guiding the Institute. Under Dr. Tarbeev’s leadership a unique research metrological complex was built ‒ the Lomonosov Branch of VNIIM; first research and manufacturing association was created within the system of Gosstandart; first specialized department was opened, and foundations of territorial product quality management system were laid.

The international prestige of Russian metrology may be considered a personal merit of Dr. Tarbeev as a Member of the International Committee for Weights and Measures, and an active participant of Consultative Committees dealing with adoption of new definitions of meter and electrical units. Thanks to Dr. Tarbeev, measurement science and developing of measuring standards were among the priority areas of the State technical policy. Results of his work have received wide public recognition. As a winner of the Russian Federation Government Prize in the field of science and technology, and a holder of the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and six other Medals, he always used his high public profile for the good of the cause. He was founder of the Russian Academy of Metrology and its first President filling this post till the end of his carrier at VNIIM. He was also initator and author of the first Russian Edition of the Metrology Encyclopedia.

Dr. Tarbeev is remembered fondly by the older generation of VNIIM specialists as an amiable, hardworking and talented person, faithful companion, trusted colleague, and talented leader. For the middle generation and the youth of VNIIM, Dr. Tarbeyev remains an outstanding metrologist, through whose experience they learn and improve professionally. Everyone who knows his name grieves for the untimely departure of the legendary man, true patriot and enthusiast. Memory of Yuri Vasilievich Tarbeev will forever remain in the annals of VNIIM and in our hearts.

Staff of the D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology