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We describe an instrument for local, instantaneous, noninvasive, simultaneous measurements of solid volume fraction and convective heat transfer at the wall of a vertical tube containing a relatively dense, entrained suspension of gas and fine solids. The instrument combines a small platinum coil and a guarded capacitance sensor. The capacitance sensor records instantaneous solid volume fraction in the near vicinity of the wall. The coil is maintained at constant temperature by a rapid anemometer bridge circuit. The vessel is wrapped in electric heaters to avoid artificially high rates associated with developing heat transfer and to minimize conduction losses from the coil. Using a model capturing these losses, convective heat transfer rates are inferred from the power input to the coil. The instrument is tested in a cold circulating fluidized bed riser. The temporal response of the thermal sensor is faster than 30 ms. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.