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Task committee on experimental uncertainty and measurement errors in hydraulic engineering: An update

January 1, 2005

As part of their long range goals for disseminating information on measurement techniques, instrumentation, and experimentation in the field of hydraulics, the Technical Committee on Hydraulic Measurements and Experimentation formed the Task Committee on Experimental Uncertainty and Measurement Errors in Hydraulic Engineering in January 2003. The overall mission of this Task Committee is to provide information and guidance on the current practices used for describing and quantifying measurement errors and experimental uncertainty in hydraulic engineering and experimental hydraulics. The final goal of the Task Committee on Experimental Uncertainty and Measurement Errors in Hydraulic Engineering is to produce a report on the subject that will cover: (1) sources of error in hydraulic measurements, (2) types of experimental uncertainty, (3) procedures for quantifying error and uncertainty, and (4) special practical applications that range from uncertainty analysis for planning an experiment to estimating uncertainty in flow monitoring at gaging sites and hydraulic structures. Currently, the Task Committee has adopted the first order variance estimation method outlined by Coleman and Steele as the basic methodology to follow when assessing the uncertainty in hydraulic measurements. In addition, the Task Committee has begun to develop its report on uncertainty in hydraulic engineering. This paper is intended as an update on the Task Committee's overall progress. Copyright ASCE 2005.