Fiber optic distributed temperature sensing for the determination of air temperature
Abstract. This paper describes a method to correct for the effect of solar radiation in atmospheric distributed temperature sensing (DTS) applications. By using two cables with different diameters, one can determine what temperature a zero diameter cable would have. Such a virtual cable would not be affected by solar heating and would take on the temperature of the surrounding air. With two unshielded cable pairs, one black pair and one white pair, good results were obtained given the general consensus that shielding is needed to avoid radiation errors (WMO, 2010). The correlations between standard air temperature measurements and air temperatures derived from both cables of colors had a high correlation coefficient (r2=0.99) and a RMSE of 0.38 °C, compared to a RMSE of 2.40 °C for a 3.0 mm uncorrected black cable. A thin white cable measured temperatures that were close to air temperature measured with a nearby shielded thermometer (RMSE of 0.61 °C). The temperatures were measured along horizontal cables with an eye to temperature measurements in urban areas, but the same method can be applied to any atmospheric DTS measurements, and for profile measurements along towers or with balloons and quadcopters.