An apparatus for measuring the temperature of a moving substrate includes an air gun with a powder inlet port in communication with the outlet port of a powder reservoir, an air inlet port in communication with a pressurized air source, and an outlet nozzle spaced from and directed toward the moving substrate. The air gun is activated by the air pulses to spray controlled amounts of the powdered phosphor onto the moving substrate, where the phosphor assumes the temperature of the moving substrate. A laser produces light pulses, and optics direct the light pulses onto the phosphor on the moving substrate, in response to which the phosphor emits a luminescence with a decay rate indicative of the temperature of the phosphor. A collection lens is disposed to focus the luminescence, and a photodetector detects the luminescence focused by the collection lens and produces an electrical signal that is characteristic of the brightness of the luminescence. A processor analyzes the electrical signal to determine the decay characteristic of the luminescence and to determine the temperature of the phosphor from the decay characteristic.