Temperatures: Measure Thrice At Least…Before Reporting Once

IRInfo’s Article of the Month

IRInfo Conference logoOnline  —  This article was a presentation and publication at IRInfo 2017 in January 2017 and is now online at IRInfo.org as the Paper of the Month for May 2017.

We are please to present a link to the online publication of it as a useful and hopefully understandable article on the use of correct measurement terminology and statistics in radiation thermometry temperature measurements, but also because it was written (and presented) by our own editor, Ray Peacock.

Abstract (Format modified for easier reading online)

A measurement of any kind has error. Carpenters know this well and they often measure twice before cutting once. Common tape measures have resolutions down to 1/16th of an inch, but errors of as much as 1/2″ are not uncommon.

The best measurement is a statistical assessment of the result of repeated measurements. Measurements always have accompanying uncertainties that can be quantified and reported by measuring more than once.

This paper explains terminology and important statistics to help understand the basics of measurements, with an emphasis on infrared temperature, and the several key influences Nature and Man have on the process of dealing with them.

If you have read the first modern standard on non-contact temperature sensor (radiation thermometer) measurement, ASTM E1256-15, you learned that even in a calibration lab it recommends the average of at least three measurements of blackbody source temperature in verifying an infrared thermometer’s calibration.

Thus, measure thrice, report once is a more reliable approach to getting the best practical result.

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