A scientific instrument can be any type of equipment, apparatus or device that is specifically designed, constructed to utilize well proven physical principles. They facilitate or enable the pursuit, acquisition, transduction and storage of repeatable, verifiable data.
Scientific instruments are part of laboratory equipment, but are considered more sophisticated and more specialized than other measuring instruments as scales, meter sticks, chronometers and thermometers. They are increasingly based upon the integration of computers to improve and simplify control, enhance and extend instrumental functions.
Scientific instruments can be found on board sounding rockets, satellites or planetary rovers and controlled by radio telecommunication.