Careful Instrument Design

Careful instrument design is the most useful weapon in the battle against environmental inputs by reducing the sensitivity of an instrument to environmental inputs to as low a level as possible.

For instance in the design of strain gauges, the element should be constructed from a material whose resistance has a very low temperature coefficient (i.e. the variation of the resistance with temperature is very small). However, errors due to the way in which an instrument is designed are not always easy to correct, and a choice often has to be made between the high cost of redesign and the alternative of accepting the reduced measurement accuracy if redesign is not undertaken.