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INTR8011 - Instrumentation for Sensors

Title:Instrumentation for Sensors
Long Title:Instrumentation for Sensors
Module Code:INTR8011
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Advanced
Field of Study: Interdisciplinary Engineering
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2017/18 ( September 2017 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: JOSEPH CONNELL
Module Author: FERGUS O REILLY
Module Description: This introductory module on Instrumentation for Measurements, Automation and Control is specifically designed for level 8 mechanical, electrical, electronic and chemical engineering students. It addresses electrical, electronic, mechanical and chemical sensors, analog transducer signal conditioning and amplification,operational amplifiers, analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) and digital-to-analog (DAC) conversion. It introduces LabView as a graphical programming language platform with data acquisition interface for ADC and DAC of sensor data measurement and actuator control in automation and process control. Data capture is processed and analysed using digital signal processing techniques for power spectral density and harmonic analysis, etc.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Explain the operation of a data acquisition system for input signal handling in analog-to-digital conversion.
LO2 Describe and explain the principles of operation of various types of sensors and their application in signal measurement in terms of accuracy, response time, etc
LO3 Draw and explain the operation of various operational amplifier circuits from ideal op-amp equivalent circuit behaviour.
LO4 Discuss and implement various LabView Structures for Data Flow control, such as While & For Loops, Shifter Registers, Case & Sequence Structures, Strings & File I/O.
LO5 Discuss and implement LabView acquisition schemes for data capture operation
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named CIT module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).
(1) Level 8 Mathematics with coverage of complex numbers with associated algebra completed to a sufficient depth to handle complex calculations (2) the option in Electromagnetism in the Engineering Physics 1 module completed as a prerequisites to this course. (3) Level 7/8 electrcial principles. The modules “Electrical Engineering Principles I for Mechanical Engineers” and “Electrical Engineering Principles II for Mechanical Engineers” or equivalent are recommended.
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Basics of Data Signal Acquisition
Sampling considerations - spectral diagrams, Nyquist rate, aliasing prevention and lowpass filtering; Data Acquisition Systems (DAQ): Analog-to-digital conversion, resolution, range, gain and range selection considerations for signal input sampling. LabView NI-DAQ hardware and software configuration.
Operational Amplifiers
Characteristics of an ideal operational amplifier with limitations; equivalent circuit, explanation of virtual ground concept from ideal properties with circuit analysis; Inverter and non inverting amplifier circuits - sign changing, scalar/gain and phase adjustment; Impedance matching considerations with voltage follower operation; summing and difference amplifier; Integrator and differentiator circuits - square and ramp waveform inputs; phase lag and lead circuits; Current-to-voltage and voltage-to-current converter.
Sensors and Actuators
Electronic transducers - sensor and actuator concept. Response Characteristics - sensitivity, linearity error, accuracy error, precision, stability and noise, response time, temperature coefficient and hysterises. Position Encoders - potentiometer, digital rotary and linear encoders, relative and absolute position. Temperature Sensors - Thermocouple system: Peltier, Thompson and Seebeck EMF effects, common types. Wheatstone bridge circuit. Thermistor: bridge circuit arrangement, time constant, bridge sensitivity optimization. RTD and Solid State IC temperature sensors, characteristcs. Humidity measurement. Strain Gauges - bonded resistance type, longitudinal and transverse strain, gauge factor, force transducer 4 gauge bridge, pressure and differential pressure methods. pH measurement. Photodiodes - concentration measurement, Flowmeters –magnetic, vortex and turbine metering.
LabView Graphical Programming Language
NI Graphical Programming environment: Virtual Instrument (VI) concept - physical instrument simulation, front panel user interactive interface, block diagram instruction code, hierarchical modular structuring - sub VI’s and graphical parameter transfer. Virtual Instrument basics- Programming and debugging tools. While and For loops, shaft registers, display charts. Array and graphics. Using the core structure and sequence structure. String controls and functions. File input/output operations.
Digital Signal Processing
Signal Classification - Analog and Digital signals. Review of Fourier Series – periodic signal, frequency content, power content and power spectrum. Signal conditioning - electrical noise and interference, signal preband limiting - lowpass filtering; Signal grounding and measuring techniques for data acquisition systems. LabView DAQ - grounded and floating signal sources, differential and single ended measurement, source impedance considerations.
Data Acquisition via LabView Platform
NI-DAQmx plugin card: installation and configuration, cabling and connection to breakout connector accessory. Analog signal input connection and measurement - floating and ground referenced sources. Thermocouple and IC temperature reference. Analog signal output, Timing I/O, Digital I/O, Quadrature encoder. DAQ applications: physical & virtual channels, digital waveform control, DC & AC voltage measurement – average, max, min values. DSP Computation – FFT, PSD. Temperature measurement. Current loop measurement. Strain measurement. Output waveform generation via NI-DAQ card. Analog frequency measurement – sample rate, filtering. Digital pulsewidth, frequency and period measurement. Digital pulse generation.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work40.00%
End of Module Formal Examination60.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Laboratory work via (1) FACET plugin modules and (2) Labview Programming 1,2,3,4,5 40.0 Every Week
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 1,2,3,4,5 60.0 End-of-Semester
Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture course notes delivery 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Lab Computer based (1) F.A.C.E.T. – LabVolt System and (2) LabView Software 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Study of Module Material 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 5.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • National Instruments 2003, LabView 7 Express, User Manual,, National Instruments
  • National Instruments 2004, NI-DAQ 7, DAQ Quick Start Guide
  • National Instruments 1998, Special Issue on Applications of LabView in Engineering Education
  • S.E. Deremzo 1990, Interfacing - A Laboratory Approach Using the Microcomputer for Instrumentation, Data Analysis, and Control,, Prentice Hall
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Stanley 1994, Operational Amplifiers with Linear Integrated Systems, Merrill
This module does not have any article/paper resources
This module does not have any other resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_EBIOM_8 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Biomedical Engineering 7 Elective
CR_EMECH_8 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering 7 Elective

Cork Institute of Technology
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