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Sensors 2010, 10(11), 10081-10094; doi:10.3390/s101110081
Article

Performance Evaluation of an Infrared Thermocouple

1,* , 1 and 2
1 Department of Bio-industrial Mechatronics Engineering, National ChungHsing University, 250 Kuokuang Road, Taichung, Taiwan 2 Department of Biomechatronics Engineering, National Chia-I University, Chia-I, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 October 2010 / Revised: 2 November 2010 / Accepted: 8 November 2010 / Published: 10 November 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Agriculture and Forestry)
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Abstract

The measurement of the leaf temperature of forests or agricultural plants is an important technique for the monitoring of the physiological state of crops. The infrared thermometer is a convenient device due to its fast response and nondestructive measurement technique. Nowadays, a novel infrared thermocouple, developed with the same measurement principle of the infrared thermometer but using a different detector, has been commercialized for non-contact temperature measurement. The performances of two-kinds of infrared thermocouples were evaluated in this study. The standard temperature was maintained by a temperature calibrator and a special black cavity device. The results indicated that both types of infrared thermocouples had good precision. The error distribution ranged from −1.8 °C to 18 °C as the reading values served as the true values. Within the range from 13 °C to 37 °C, the adequate calibration equations were the high-order polynomial equations. Within the narrower range from 20 °C to 35 °C, the adequate equation was a linear equation for one sensor and a two-order polynomial equation for the other sensor. The accuracy of the two kinds of infrared thermocouple was improved by nearly 0.4 °C with the calibration equations. These devices could serve as mobile monitoring tools for in situ and real time routine estimation of leaf temperatures.
Keywords: infrared thermocouple; thermometer; calibration equation; leaf temperature infrared thermocouple; thermometer; calibration equation; leaf temperature
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Chen, C.; Weng, Y.-K.; Shen, T.-C. Performance Evaluation of an Infrared Thermocouple. Sensors 2010, 10, 10081-10094.

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