This report describes the instrumentation system, the calibration theory, and the error analysis of an experiment designed to measure front surface temperatures of the Barstow Solar Central Receiver panels. The instrumentation system uses an infrared detector, imaging peripherals, a collimator, and a 30 power telescope. The unique feature of this application is the large distance (200 m) between the detector and the target (1.27 cm diameter tubes). Sources of thermal radiation other than the target are found to contribute heavily to the input signal. Thus, the calibration scheme must specifically account for these background or environmental effects. During the data acquisition, two blackbody radiators at known temperatures are referenced periodically, and their output signals are used to define the calibration curves. These curves are valid as long as the environmental effects remain unchanged. The error analysis uses the Root-Sum-Square (RSS) technique for evaluating random errors. The biased errors are assumed to stem from spatial resolution problems, and are addressed using the optical transfer functions of the system. Data analysis and interpretation are covered in Part II, Receiver Evaluation.