There are many specialized glossaries that cover the terms describing the unique details of temperature and moisture sensors and their uses and this page represents an attempt to index most of them and related topics, such as Meteorology, in one place.






Many online articles about radiation thermometry and its uses (infrared thermometers, radiation pyrometers) exist including technology articles, PowerPoint slide presentations and .pdf downloads, but they seem to be vanishing as more and more “big businesses” take over these specialized sensors.But few are aimed at being useful glossaries or definition of terms.

There are some exceptions and some well-crafted pieces that have been online for a while and can be found in semi-hidden corners of the Web.

Thermal Radiation Thermometers: temperature_measurement_radiation_thermometers

Thermal Imaging:  (Glossary of Basic Thermography Terms) .


American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Glossary of Meteorology

The electronic version of the second edition of the AMS Glossary of Meteorology is a living document and meant to be periodically updated as terms in the field evolve. To that end, AMS has established a Chief Editor for the Glossary who is responsible for updating/revising existing terms and adding new terms. Learn more about the Glossary and current Editorial Board.

For recommendations on correctly citing and referencing the Glossary of Meteorology, please see the Glossary entry for Citation.

If you have any feedback or editing suggestions to the content in this Glossary, please contact the Chief Editor.

Glossary – NOAA’s National Weather Service

This glossary contains information on more than 2000 terms, phrases and abbreviations used by the NWS. Many of these terms and abbreviations are used by NWS forecasters to communicate between each other and have been in use for many years and before many NWS products were directly available to the public.

Glossary of Weather, Climate and Ocean 2nd Edition

ISBN: 9781935704799

Intended for educators, students and the public and inspired by increasingly interest in the atmosphere, ocean and our changing climate, this glossary provides an understandable, up-to-date reference for terms frequently used in discussions or descriptions of meteorological, oceanographic and climatological phenomena. In addition, the glossary includes definitions of related hydrologic terms.

Clearly this page is a work in progress, and it may be expanded in time. Priority will be according to the response it garners.

Industrial temperature measurement | Basics and practice

Free Download From ABB

(Extract From the Introduction)

With this Handbook for industrial temperature measurements we are attempting to provide the technician with solutions to his wide variety of responsibilities. At the same time, it provides for those new to the field, insight into the basics of the most important measurement principles and their application limits in a clear and descriptive manner.

The basic themes include material science and measurement technology, applications, signal processing and fieldbus communication.

A practice oriented selection of appropriate temperature sensor designs for the process field is presented as well as therequired communication capability of the meter locations.

The factory at Alzenau, Germany, a part of ABB, is the Global Center of Competencefor Temperature, with numerous local experts on hand in the most important industrialsectors, is responsible for activities worldwide in this sector.

125 years of temperature measurement technology equates to experience and competence. At the same time, it forms an important basis for continued innovation.

In close cooperation with our customers and users, our application engineers create conceptsto meet the measurement requirements.

Our Sector-Teams support the customer, planner and user in the preparation of professional solutions.

Free download available online at:

Author Team:
Karl Ehinger, Dieter Flach, Lothar Gellrich, Eberhard Horlebein, Dr. Ralf Huck, Henning Ilgner, Thomas Kayser, Harald Müller, Helga Schädlich, Andreas Schüssler, Ulrich Staab,

ABB Automation Products GmbH

Many thanks to the publishing group at ControlEngineering-Europe for alerting us to this new online resource (

Thermocouple App Notes Series, 1 of 4 – Thermocouple Fundamentals

App notes on how TCs work & their calibration

Thermocouple App notesOnline — Thermocouples are broadly used in many industrial and scientific applications. But it can be a bit tricky to understand how they work and how to calibrate them.

Fluke Calibration has developed a thermocouple application note series created by temperature calibration experts to help you learn what you need to know.

The series covers how thermocouples work, choosing calibration equipment, calculating uncertainties, and how to calibrate thermocouples.

There are four application notes in the series:

Visit the webpage at Fluke calibration where you may download the app notes directly:

Temperature Measurement with your Computer

Windmill LogoOne of the best of our favorite resources on the Web is a software company on Manchester, England, Windmill Software. They have supplied free PC software for Test & Measurement to all who wish to download it from their website:,

Windmill has for many years also published a free monthly informative eNewsletter called Monitor newsletter (ISSN 1472-0221); archive and subscription available online at

At last look it was up to issue No, 224!

Here’s links to one of the extra specials they have done on the subject of temperature measurement


Measuring Temperature with a Computer

Temperature measurement is the most common application of data acquisition systems. You will need a device to measure the temperature – a temperature sensor. Thermocouples, resistance temperature devices (RTDs), thermistors, platinum resistance thermometers and infrared thermometers are all types of temperature sensor.

The most popular are thermocouples and RTDs. The sensors you choose depends on several things, such as as your expected maximum and minimum temperatures, cost, accuracy needed and your environmental conditions.

To get data from the temperature sensor into your PC you need a data acquisition interface with suitable software. The interface unit plugs into your computer, for example into the USB or Ethernet port.

You wire the sensor to the interface, install the software and the computer can now monitor temperatures.

Comparison of Thermocouples and RTDs

Wake Frequency Calculator by TempSens Instrument

Plus two additional Calculators

Wake_Frequency_CalculatorAn online resource calculator for estimating the Wake Frequency of a thermowell in a flowing stream.

According to the website:

“TEMPSENS WAKE FREQUENCY CALCULATOR is easy to use and it also ensures that thermowell is designed within the dimensional limits of PTC19.3, 2010. This calculator establishes the practical design considerations for Thermowell installations in power and process piping, which also incorporates the latest theory in the areas of natural frequency, Strouhal frequency, in-line resonance and stress evaluation.”

The program is “FREE” and can be distributed to other users, this was developed for Tempsens internal use and then we have now a lot of customers requesting for a copy of this program. Please give your inputs for improvement in the program.


The same web page provides a Temperature Calculator to convert the Emf (mV)/Ohms generated by thermocouple & RTD to the temperature or vice versa as well as a SPRT Calculator to provide the ITS-90 coefficients for the set of resistance readings provided on the fixed point cell.

Thermocouple Junctions Are Not Voltage Sources!

by R. P. Reed, Ph.D, PEret

NOTE: The following is a brief overview of a special article written and published here by a noted authority on thermocouples. Dr. Ray P. Reed. Dr. Reed is a retired researcher from Sandia Laboratories in New Mexico, USA.

He is a semi-retired, yet still a contributing member of the ASTM International Committee E20 on Temperature Measurement. He has written and presented many professional and peer-reviewed articles on temperature sensors, notably thermocouples in his long career.

His list of publications is on another page on this website,

This new article from R.P. Reed is published with his permission and is in downloadable format.

It is in Adobe PDF format and its size is about 310 kb.

Here’s a sample of the initial paragraph of the article:

“Thermocouples, based on the Seebeck effect, remain the simplest, most widely used, electrical sensor of temperature. Thermocouples consist only of thermoelectrically dissimilar conductor legs connected at junctions. The Seebeck emf occurs only in the legs. Therefore, commonplace calibration and thermometry errors relate to degraded thermoelements, not to junctions. A yet commonplace implicit Junction-Source Model incorrectly asserts that Seebeck emf occurs only in junctions. That erroneous concept hides problems that are commonplace in consequential thermometry.”

Link to a full Introduction to the article and the download link Link: junctions are not voltage sources!/