NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory
The Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) features stringent controls on particulate matter, temperature, vibration and humidity. The facility houses the agency’s most advanced metrology, physics, chemistry, electronics, engineering and materials science research. Completed in 2003, the AML complex has few equals among the world’s research facilities.
The NIST AML consists of five sections: two single-floor metrology laboratory sections below ground with 145 modules (for improved vibration isolation and temperature control); two single-floor instrument laboratory sections above ground with 187 modules; and one clean room wing above ground. Specialty areas include 48 precision temperature control laboratories (with temperature control ranging from +/-0.1 degrees Celsius to +/-0.01 degrees Celsius) and 27 extremely low-vibration laboratories.
Characteristics are uniform throughout the research facility, including strict laboratory air cleanliness assured by HEPA filtration; a baseline temperature control of +/-0.25 degree Celsius; mechanical, electrical, and structural systems designed to minimize vibration; and a power system rated for critical electronic loads and power “cleanliness.” To maximize flexibility and cleanliness, mechanical services as well as laboratory support equipment are provided through service corridors located between laboratory modules.
In the 48 precision temperature control laboratories, the temperature is within +/-0.01 degree Celsius. Humidity varies no more than one percent in specialized areas and five percent throughout the rest of the facility. The AML was built to achieve as low as 100 micro-inch per second vibration control and cleanrooms contain three classifications of particulate levels.