Need help making a temperature measurement, selecting a sensor or choosing a sensor vendor?

The process is rather straight forward, providing you know what you need. If you don’t, the process is logical but a little more demanding.

First, you start with the measurement requirements. Often these are sketchy, inappropriate or incomplete, so many times you need to reexamine them and question those involved until reason prevails.

Second, you need to examine the means to obtain traceability and measurement uncertainty that are within acceptable budgets and tolerances. Hopefully, the former is not ignored and the latter not too difficult to estimate. Without both concepts, i.e. traceability and uncertainty, understood and implemented, your measurements will be difficult to support no matter how well the rest of the job is performed.

If these terms are new to you, you need some further education. Check the page on calibration to learn about traceability and uncertainty; they are key to every measurement. Otherwise you are only guessing about the capabilities of your measurement process. Until you know with some level of confidence what your measurement uncertainties are, you have no benchmark against which to compare what you are measuring now to the measurements made before or later.

So, you’ve got to start at the very beginning. There are many more steps, but the ones at the beginning start the journey to success in the proper direction.

There’s lot of help on other parts of this site on the calibration, standards, applications and references pages.

Don’t ignore earlier solutions! Chances are someone solved your measurement problem or one similar already

Good luck and best wishes. If you have some interesting successes, let us know and we’ll help you share that with others who visit these pages.

Index to Basics on Temperature Sensor Pages


These are the fundamentals of temperature and temperature measurements. If you are not sure you know them, then go no further until you do. Here are some very useful links that will help you master the fundamentals of temperature sensors and its measurements.

  1. What are heat & temperature ? A web page with links to a site written for middle school children that contains a wealth of information and a wonderful perspective on temperature measurement. Plus a site at a major national laboratory that provides interesting explanations of both topics. It also has some of the links below.

  2. Selecting a Temperature Sensor
    Sometimes easy, sometimes not so easy… but always worth doing with care. If you haven’t a clue, check out the properties of the different types of sensors below.

  3. Types of Temperature Sensors
    Here’s where you can find about the different sensor types along with a brief description of each and its special features. If you know your type, use the links on that page to get to it or on the vendors page, those who provide them. This may be a surprise to some engineers who have come to believe there is only one supplier of temperature sensors!

  4. TC + RTD Tables, If your sensor is a thermocouple or Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) these tables could be useful, thanks to Pyromation , Inc and the Dept. of Commerce’s NIST (USA).

  5. Emissivity or mystery?
    If a non-contact sensor is your choice and you don’t know beans about emissivity? You are not alone! take the E-Trail to a better understanding of this often maligned optical property of matter, e-missivity, that is! It is crucial to many non-contact temperature measurements. Includes a list of special reference materials (not on the web but at your local technical university or big city library).

  6. Community Among one of the major resources is the community of workers and researchers actively engaged in developing standards, new methods and/or teaching others. As an entity, the community of temperature workers is loosely defined and widely spread around the world, but they exist. We’ve provided some pages with connections to this vast resource and expect to see it grow over time. In fact, the key elements to a start in this effort are combined on another page entitled “Community”. Some of the key page links on this site that make up that page are the following: LinksMeetings,  References, and Bibliographies, Archives.

  7. Community-based web site. To further unify the widespread community of students, scientists, engineers and technologists involved in temperature sensors and uses, we have established a new website that we are calling the temperature sensor community website. It is more user-friendly and uses a database structure that supports and encourages questions, answers and submission of inputs and comments from the community of users. It is not a chat room and all submissions are edited for appropriateness. The new site, with web address or URL uses relatively advanced web programming that some of our visitors’ browsers cannot render. For that reason, the present site concept of a mostly text-based one will also be continued for the forseeable future.

Also note The Temperature & Moisture Sensor Directory Web Site, a companion site set up to enable direct inputs from temperature sensor users and makers. Vendors, do visit there. Sign in and enter your own company data, product and service offerings and temperature measurement or sensor news-

It’s been Improved! Users can post reports & reviews of companies, news, products and services. Note that inputs are moderated for propriety and excess zeal! Best of all, it is freely available and “self service”.