A blackbody optical fiber thermometer consists of an optical fiber whose sensing tip is given a metallic coating. The sensing tip of the fiber forms an isothermal cavity, and the emission from this cavity is approximately equal to the emission from a blackbody. Standard two-color optical fiber thermometry involves measuring the spectral intensity at the end of the fiber at two wavelengths. The temperature at the sensing tip of the fiber can then be inferred using Planck's law and the ratio of the spectral intensities. If, however, the length of the optical fiber is exposed to elevated temperatures, erroneous temperature measurements will occur due to emission by the fiber. This thesis presents a method to account for emission by the fiber and accurately infer the temperature at the tip of the optical fiber. Additionally, an estimate of the temperature profile along the fiber may be obtained.

A mathematical relation for radiation transfer down the optical fiber is developed. The radiation exiting the fiber and the temperature profile along the fiber are related to the detector signal by a signal measurement equation. Since the temperature profile cannot be solved for directly using the signal measurement equation, two inverse minimization techniques are developed to find the temperature profile. Simulated temperature profile reconstructions show the techniques produce valid and unique results. Tip temperatures are reconstructed to within 1.0%.

Experimental results are also presented. Due to the limitations of the detection system and the optical fiber probe, the uncertainty in the signal measurement equation is high. Also, due to the limitations of the laboratory furnace and the optical detector, the measurement uncertainty is also high. This leads to reconstructions that are not always accurate. Even though the temperature profiles are not completely accurate, the tip-temperatures are reconstructed to within 1%—a significant improvement over the standard two-color technique under the same conditions. Improvements are recommended that will lead to decreased measurement and signal measurement equation uncertainty. This decreased uncertainty will lead to the development of a reliable and accurate temperature measurement device.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Optical Fiber Thermometer, Genetic Algorithm, Conjugate Gradient Algorithm