Spatially-integrated surface temperature sensing is highly useful when it comes to controlling processes, detecting hazardous conditions or monitoring the health and safety of equipment and people. Fiber-optic sensing based on modal interference has shown great sensitivity to temperature variation, by means of cost-effective image-processing of few-mode interference patterns. New developments in the field of sensor configuration, as described in this paper, include an innovative cooling and heating phase discrimination functionality and more precise measurements, based entirely on the image processing of interference patterns. The proposed technique was applied to the measurement of the integrated surface temperature of a hollow cylinder and compared with a conventional measurement system, consisting of an infrared camera and precision temperature probe. As a result, the optical technique is in line with the reference system. Compared with conventional surface temperature probes, the optical technique has the following advantages: low heat capacity temperature measurement errors, easier spatial deployment, and replacement of multiple angle infrared camera shooting and the continuous monitoring of surfaces that are not visually accessible.
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