Blackbody Calibration Source Truths

Entrance aperture of a windowless Brookley blackbody furnace at 2000 degrees C

Entrance aperture of a windowless graphite tube blackbody furnace at 2000 °C.

A precision blackbody (black body) is a controlled source of thermal radiation used to calibrate infrared radiation thermometers (pyrometers), thermal imagers and radiation heat flux gauges and radiometers. They are highly specialized and have been described and developed since Max Planck invented the concept at the end of the 19th century.

Needless to say, a practical blackbody simulates Planck's ideal source and the closeness of that simulation to the ideal, the more expensive they are. So, selection of one is a careful exercise in tradeoffs of needs versus cost. One, of course, must know what they need before selecting a given unit.

Blackbody thermal radiation sources are not something purchased every day, yet they are often kept for years. Some are used infrequently. Some are used with surprising regularity. So, a blackbody purchase is done usually with great care. On the connecting pages and links we have put together a few more helpful truths about them and some key specification components that must be considered.

1. Blackbody Uncertainty

2. Blackbody Precision

3. Blackbody calibrators, a page on the website, About Temperature Sensors, with useful information on blackbodies.

There's more to it, of course, and we'll keep publishing the truths that we know to help the unwary user.

Precision Blackbodies

A laboratory blackbody (black body) approximates Max Planck's ideal. We strive to provide the closest approximation that a reasonable budget and the needs for precise sources of blackbody thermal radiation can provide. It is easy to get it wrong. Don't be afraid to ask advice.

Thermo Gauge Instruments, Inc. supports and services Thermogage's renown graphite tube blackbody furnaces. Among the key features of the Thermo Gauge furnaces are their dual cavity and rapid heating and cooling.

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