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PHYS6030 - Process Instrumentation 1

Title:Process Instrumentation 1
Long Title:Process Instrumentation 1
Module Code:PHYS6030
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Fundamental
Field of Study: Physics
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2009/10 ( September 2009 )
Module Delivered in 3 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: Donagh OMahony
Module Author: EAMONN BUTLER
Module Description: This module introduces the student to practical analog electronics required for the signal conditioning of transducer outputs. The transducers studied are used extensively in a variety of process industries.The module includes extensive laboratory based practical work to support and apply the lecture material.Emphasis is also based on developing the students ability to interpret and use manufactureers data sheets.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Build and analyse circuits commonly used for the signal conditioning of transducer outputs.
LO2 Draw circuit diagrams and explain the operation of fundamental signal conditioning electronic circuits
LO3 Explain the meaning and significance of principal performance parameters of basic electronic components as specified in manufacturer’s data sheets
LO4 Explain the operating principles of resistive, capacitive,inductive, pneumatic and piezoelectric transducers
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).
No recommendations listed
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
No Co Requisites listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Transistor-based circuits
Transistor as a switch (e.g. proximity sensor, level sensor). Transistor as an amplifier (as introduction to op amps).
Operational Amplifiers
IC packages pin out connections and construction, ideal op amp, performance characteristics (Common Mode Rejection ratio, Slew Rate, Open loop gain, Unity gain bandwidth etc). Manufacturer’s data sheets. Op amp as amplifying unit, negative feedback , inverting and non inverting configurations, Use of op amp as a transducer output dc amplifier . Use of op amp as a transducer output ac amplifier Gain calculations, frequency response of amplifiers, critical frequencies, bandwidth, 3 dB point. Simple circuits: Comparators, integrator and differentiator, Summing Amplifiers, Averaging amplifier
Passive Filters
Importance of signal conditioning as applied to transducer output. Advantages of ac conditioning over dc conditioning. Active vs passive, ideal filter response, passive RC filters, various types, roll-off rate vs number of poles, bandwidth, 3 db point. Common active filters.
Oscillators, pulse and timing circuits
(No details of individual circuits).Oscillators and positive feedback , crystal oscillator, IC 555 timer configured as a timer/monostable and a square wave oscillator. Use of oscillator circuits in capacitive and inductive sensors
Resonance circuits
Series and parallel resonance circuits as applied to capacitive sensors and inductive sensors etc .
Instrument Systems
Specification of an instrument. P&ID representation of instruments Calibration procedure and standards. Instruments used as calibration standards . Calibration status and periods
Transducer specifications; Principles of resistive, capacitive, inductive, pneumatic, quartz and piezoelectric transducers, and their application; Vibration monitoring; Acceleration and velocity measurements. Applications in the measurement of position and proximity
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Lab reports 1,3 25.0 Every Second Week
Other 1 hour written exam 2,3,4 25.0 Week 7
Other 1 hour written exam 2,3,4 25.0 Sem End
Practical/Skills Evaluation Lab exam 1 25.0 Sem End
No End of Module Formal Examination
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 No Description 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Lab No Description 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Lab reports/ study of lecture material 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 4.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Supplementary Book Resources
  • Thomas L. Floyd 2008, Electronic Devices (Conventional Current Version),, 8 Ed., Pearson [ISBN: ISBN-13: 9780132429733]
  • Albert Paul Malvino 1999, Electronic Principles, McGraw-Hill Education [ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0071156042]
  • Robert T. Paynter 2006, Introductory Electronic Devices and Circuits, 7 Ed. [ISBN: ISBN-13: 171641-7]
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_SINEN_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Instrument Engineering 3 Mandatory
CR_SPHYS_7 Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics and Instrumentation 3 Mandatory
CR_SPHYS_6 Higher Certificate in Science in Applied Physics and Instrumentation 3 Mandatory

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