Factors that affect accuracy of temperature measurement

The ability to measure the temperature of a system accurately and with the required resolution depends on a variety of factors. While the first step in estimating the errors in a system is the sensor and instrument calibration, to really determine accuracy, it is important to look at the quantifiable factors that affect accuracy: the uncertainty of the measurement.

Uncertainty of the measurement is simply the estimate of all the errors associated with the measurement. By accounting for all the uncertainties of the measurement a total uncertainty is estimated. This article explains where or how errors can occur. It then explains the two classes of errors that exist; it details specific errors and gives a brief explanation of each. It ends with an explanation of the methodology for combining the uncertainties to determine the overall accuracy.


Take note

  • Measurement is inherently uncertain.
  • It is important that the sources of measurement uncertainty are known.
  • Once the uncertainty is understood, it is possible to determine the overall temperature uncertainty.


Published as:

Potential errors that can affect temperature measurement accuracy

By S Courts, Lake Shore Cryotronics

Electricity+Control, August 2011 (pgs 40 - 42)