ECE 437
Sensors and Instrumentation

Displaying course information from Fall 2012.

Section Type Times Days Location Instructor
AB1 LAB 1400 - 1650 W   235 Everitt Lab  Mathias Simeth
AB2 LAB 0900 - 1150 F   235 Everitt Lab  Mathias Simeth
AB3 LAB 1400 - 1650 F   235 Everitt Lab  Mathias Simeth
AL LEC 1400 - 1520 T   260 Everitt Lab  Jonathan Makela
Web Page http://courses.engr.illinois.edu/ece437/
Official Description Hands-on exposure to fundamental technology and practical application of sensors. Capacitive, inductive, optical, electromagnetic, and other sensing methods are examined. Instrumentation techniques incorporating computer control, sampling, and data collection and analysis are reviewed in the context of real-world scenarios. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: ECE 329.
Subject Area Core Curriculum
Course Prerequisites
Course Directors Jennifer Truman Bernhard
Course Goals

Course Goals

The goal of this course is to give senior and graduate students in Electrical and Computer Engineering a hands-on introduction to the fundamental technology and practical application of sensors. Capacitive, inductive, optical, ultrasonic, and other sensing methods are examined. Instrumentation techniques incorporating computer control, sampling, and data collection and analysis are reviewed in the context of real-world scenarios. Open-ended laboratory activities and required written documentation help to develop students’ analytical and communication skills.

Instructional Objectives

A. By the time of the Midterm Exam, students should be able to do the following:

1. Use LabVIEW to communicate with instrumentation and sensors and build interfaces independently. (b, c, e, g, j, k)

2. Configure an instrument using drivers from the instrument driver library and to be able to communicate to the instrument. (b, c, e, g, k)

3. Incorporate a simple code written in standard programming language like C into LabVIEW. (b, c, e, g, k)

4. Investigate the fundamental limitations of data acquisition systems. (a, b, c, e, g, k, l)

5. Explain the functions of all the pins on a RS232 serial cable and how they are used in the real world. (b, g)

6. Connect any two RS232 enabled devices given a break-out box and standard RS232 cables and connectors. (b, e, g)

7. Recognize and predict aliasing and quantification error associated with the digital representation of analog signals. (a, b, c, e, g, j, l)

8. Assemble an analog-to-digital sampling system that avoids aliasing, uses acceptable levels of quantification error, and minimizes noise. (a, b, c, e, g, k, l)

9. Explain the benefits and detriments of filtering and integration to reject noise. (b, g)

10. Recognize possible noise sources and implement shielding in reducing electromagnetically- coupled and inductively coupled interference. (b, c, e, g, j, k)

11. Explain the differences between electric and magnetic shielding. (a, b, g)

12. Implement a noise-filtering instrumentation amplifier for amplifying low-level differential signals with high common mode voltages. (a, b, c, e, g, k)

13. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of inductive proximity sensors. (a, b, g)

14. Determine the critical issues for inductive sensor choice, placement, and circuit implementation through laboratory investigation of several level-sensing applications. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

15. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of capacitive proximity sensors. (a, b, g)

16. Determine the critical issues for capacitive sensor choice, placement, and circuit implementation through laboratory investigation of several level-sensing applications. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

17. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of the wireless sensing network examined. Explain when a wireless system is desired over a wired system. (a, b, g)

18. Determine the critical issues for wireless sensing networks through laboratory investigation. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

19. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of the accelerometer examined. (a, b, g)

20. Determine the critical issues for accelerometers through laboratory investigation. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

B. By the time of the Final Exam, students should be able to do all of the items listed under A, plus the following:

21. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of thermocouples, thermistors, and RTDs. (a, b, g)

22. Determine the critical issues for sensor choice, placement, and circuit implementation through laboratory investigation of a particular temperature-sensing application. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

23. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of the ultrasonic sensors examined. (a, b, g)

24. Determine the critical issues for ultrasonic sensors through laboratory investigation. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

25. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of the rotary encoders examined. (a, b, g)

26. Determine the critical issues for encoder choice and circuit implementation through laboratory investigation of several encoder applications. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

27. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of photodiode and photomultiplier sensors. (a, b, g)

28. Determine the critical issues for photodiode sensor choice, placement, and circuit implementation through laboratory investigation of several level-sensing applications. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

29. Explain the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of CCD sensors and in particular, understand when video is needed and advantageous. (a, b, g)

30. Determine the critical issues for CCD sensor choice, placement, and circuit implementation through laboratory investigation of several level-sensing applications. (a, b, c, e, g, j, k)

31. Specify appropriate sensors and design a sensing system for practical applications. (a, b, c, e, g, k)

Last updated: 2/18/2013