Estimation of temperature and associated uncertainty from fiber-optic raman-spectrum distributed temperature sensing

Bas des Tombe*, Bart Schilperoort, Mark Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) systems can be used to estimate the temperature along optic fibers of several kilometers at a sub-meter interval. DTS systems function by shooting laser pulses through a fiber and measuring its backscatter intensity at two distinct wavelengths in the Raman spectrum. The scattering-loss coefficients for these wavelengths are temperature-dependent, so that the temperature along the fiber can be estimated using calibration to fiber sections with a known temperature. A new calibration approach is developed that allows for an estimate of the uncertainty of the estimated temperature, which varies along the fiber and with time. The uncertainty is a result of the noise from the detectors and the uncertainty in the calibrated parameters that relate the backscatter intensity to temperature. Estimation of the confidence interval of the temperature requires an estimate of the distribution of the noise from the detectors and an estimate of the multi-variate distribution of the parameters. Both distributions are propagated with Monte Carlo sampling to approximate the probability density function of the estimated temperature, which is different at each point along the fiber and varies over time. Various summarizing statistics are computed from the approximate probability density function, such as the confidence intervals and the standard uncertainty (the estimated standard deviation) of the estimated temperature. An example is presented to demonstrate the approach and to assess the reasonableness of the estimated confidence intervals. The approach is implemented in the open-source Python package “dtscalibration”.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2235
Number of pages21
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Corrigendum: DOI 10.3390/s21030912. The original article has been updated.


  • Calibration
  • Confidence intervals
  • Distributed temperature sensing
  • DTS
  • Fiber optic
  • Raman
  • Stokes
  • Temperature
  • Uncertainty


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