Quality systems and traceability

Measurement traceability and chain of custody

The Mote team have experience with presenting and defending measurements under various judicial structures. Our systems ensure that each measurement is timestamped with a real-time location before being subject to our quality control checks.

While all measurements collected by our team meet the “balance of probability” legal burden of proof, we can also apply additional instrumental checks to ensure that any measurement meets the “beyond reasonable doubt” legal burden of proof when required by clients.

As part of our quality system we apply automated, continual verification of our measurements:

  1. Timestamping

All our measurements are timestamped usually to within 2 microseconds of UTC. More accurate timestamping is available for specific high-frequency measurements (100 Hz – 20,000 Hz).

  1. Location

All mobile devices contain a built-in GPS capability to continually record their position. This location is usually accurate to within a few metres although we also use base-corrected GPS where positional accuracy is critical.

  1. Measurement uncertainty

All measurements have a degree of uncertainty around their result and many instruments are subject to drift, interferences, or error. To address these issues, we typically operate two different uncertainty assessment tools.

  1. 3A. Internal checks

We incorporate zero and span measurements on a number of our devices and perform these checks automatically at pre-selected intervals (usually daily or hourly). The resulting data from these checks enable us to determine whether the instrument is performing normally and also enables us to identify anomalies such as drift or noise sufficiently early to take action.

  1. 3B. Algorithm checks

The instrumental measurements and accompanying metadata are routinely analysed and reviewed by sophisticated automated algorithms. These reviews compare previous and historical monitoring results and compare them with other nearby instruments and/or other environmental data (rainfall, sunshine hours, temperature, discharge rates, etc). These reviews can identify anomalous measurements early and also provide insight into whether the anomalous measurements result from instrumental or environmental factors. Technicians and project managers are alerted by emails and texts when instrument faults or anomalous behavior is detected.

  1. RFID & QR tags

All Mote limited instruments contain RFID & QR tags that enable a complete service history to be linked to that device. All instruments have a unique RFID coupled with the QR code and serial number. Any adjustments or repairs to the instrument both routine or non-routine are recorded against the unique RFID. Samples collected by staff or instruments will be placed in RFID labeled containers for complete traceability including chain of custody through to registered laboratories for sample analysis.

  1. Service records

We use a proprietary monitoring application that will display the relevant device RFID number and enable technicians to visit the device to record details around the service visit including any adjustments or repairs made to the instrument.  The application automatically creates a record when a service technician enters the geofence boundary around an instrument.

  1. Visual monitoring

For a number of our sites, we also need to demonstrate that the device was not tampered with following servicing. To address this issue we often use motion-sensitive cameras to record images and/or video in the vicinity of the monitoring instrumentation. A number of these monitors are cellular which enables images to be sent to Mote Limited staff for evaluation when the motion sensors are triggered.