Module Overview

Electronics and Instrumentation II

An exploration of measurement of the most important physical quantities, by the application of sensors based on a variety of physical principles, in conjunction with electronic systems appropriate and adequate to the measurements in question.

Module Code

PHYS 4802

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

·         Main components of generic sensor/instrumentation system

-  Sensor/ transducer (characterization of sensor performance in terms of their linearity, working range, sensitivity, hysteresis, repeatability and reproducibility)

-  Signal conditioning element

-  Signal processing element

-  Control/feedback loop

-  Data presentation

·         Review of physical effects used for sensing: resistive, capacitive, inductive, thermoelectric, piezoelectric, pyroelectric, photovoltaic, etc.

·         Sensors and associated electrical circuits for measuring:

-  Temperature (thermistors, RTDs, thermocouples/thermopiles, Si based temperature sensors);

-  Strain;

-  Displacement/Force (using resistive (for both linear and angular displacement), capacitive, inductive and ultrasound sensors).

·         Measurement techniques for electrical sensors with small and large dR:

-  Voltage dividers (with examples of Thevenin and Norton equivalent circuits calculations);

-  Bridges for strain gauge measurements (Wheatstone and Kevin double bridge);

-  Tuned amplifiers;

-  Lock-in amplifiers.

·         Noise and interference in electronic measurement systems:

-  Sources of noises and interference in electronic measurement systems and methods to eliminate them (for example autocorrelation and so forth).

-  Bandwidth, noise figure, SNR, noise temperature.

·         Dynamic behaviour of sensors measurement systems:

-  Examples and behaviour of zero-order, first-order, and second-order systems;

-  Natural and forced (step and sinusoidal) responses;

-  Damping and Q-factor;

-  Frequency response;

-  Laplace transforms.

·         Four terminal networks and loading:

-  The effects of electrical loading;

-  Resistive ladder networks;

-  Characterisation of four terminal networks using Z-parameters, Y-parameters, A-parameters, Hybrid parameters, S-parameters and their combinations;

-  T and pi networks for attenuation and filtering.

-  Transmission lines and related impedance, inductance and capacitance.

·         Biasing requirements and frequency response of practical operational amplifiers (and BJT and FET based amplifiers) for use with sensors measurement systems.

·         Data conversion using DACs and ADCs:

-  weighted summation, binary resistive ladder.

-  voltage to time, dual-slope, ADCs based on DACs, ramp, successive approximation, tracking, sigma-delta. Flash ADCs.

·         Sampling problems in digitization: quantization error, ADC non-linearities, jitter, aliasing, spectral folding, Nyquist, anti-aliasing filters, sample-and-hold circuits.

·         The Intelligent multivariable measurement systems

-  Modern Touch pad technologies

-  E-nose technologies

-  Pattern recognition

·         Radiometry & photometry: Definitions, units. Wavelength dependence of detectors and windows. Thermal detectors of radiation; photon detectors, bolometers and basic associated electronic circuitry considerations, fibre optics.

Reliability, Choice and Economics of Measurement Systems


•Laboratory classes

•Problem-solving assignments


•Web-based self-learning materials e.g. vendors’ sites and recent conference and journal papers.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination80
Other Assessment(s)20