1. A heater control system for an aircraft, the heater control system comprising:an air data sensor including a probe and transducer coupled to the probe;
a heating element disposed within the probe and configured to emit heat that heats the probe;
a thermal sensor system in operable communication with the air data sensor and configured to determine a temperature of the heating element based on a thermal radiation of heat released from a surface of the probe; and
a controller in operable communication with the thermal sensor system and the heating element, the controller configured to control power supplied to the heating element to vary the emitted heat based on the thermal radiation,
wherein the thermal sensor system comprises:
an optical unit configured to direct and focus infrared radiation flux of the heat released from the surface of the probe; and
a thermal detector configured to receive the infrared radiation flux from an optical unit, and to output a temperature signal indicative of the temperature of the heating element based on the infrared radiation flux.