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Electronic Instrumentation. European PhD – 2009 Transducers and Signal Conditioning Horácio Fernandes. Useful Signal. When converting a signal to a quantity, it is only useful if its representation is kept unchanged within a knew error

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electronic instrumentation


European PhD – 2009

Transducers and Signal Conditioning

Horácio Fernandes

useful signal
Useful Signal
  • When converting a signal to a quantity, it is only useful if its representation is kept unchanged within a knew error
  • Signal conditioning and transmission is very important in applied physics
signal paths
Signal paths
  • Preserve signal quality
  • DAS less demanding
  • Preserve and adjust dynamic bandwidth
  • Resize operational limits
    • Offset
    • Amplitude
    • Bandwith
  • Linearization
  • Galvanic isolation
  • Buffering
sensors and transducers
Sensors and Transducers


Device capable of changing one form of energy into another

Active – External power supply

Passive – Internal source (self-generating)


Changing of a characteristic in an electric circuit (R; L, C);

Generate an output signal proportional to the stimulus

sensors transducer principles
Sensors Transducer Principles


Strain gauges: Force measurements (W. Bridges)

Temperature: RTDs, termistors

Light: photoelectric cells and photodiodes

Position: potentiometers as dividers, grids

sensors transducer principles1
Sensors Transducer Principles



Dielectric constant

Geometric configuration

Cell chargers


LVDT –Differential Transformer

Hall Effect

Motors as generator

sensors selection
Sensors Selection

Scale: limiting extremes (Worst Case)

multiples sensors for scale spanning


Least detected variation (resolution)


Temporal response

Dynamic response

Accuracy and resolution

Stress (consistency)

Reproducibility and hysteresis


sensors operation
Sensors Operation




Extreme Temperatures

Water presence and moist

Chemical corrosion: solvers, acids e bases

Environmental protection

Susceptibility: eletric/explosion/chash

sensors operation1
Sensors Operation

Human use


Corrosion/Chemicals manipulation




Electric Interference (EMI- high impedance, low current)

sensors operation2
Sensors Operation


Circuit Charger (photocell)

Excitation source (noise)

Signal Conditioning

Physics size


Measurement Error – Comparison standard should be more exact than sensor resolution

Calibration table – Calibration curve

Physic model

Static and dynamic calibration


Impulsive response

  • Transfer function errors
    • Non-linearity
      • Sensor
      • Electronics
      • Signal path
  • Compensation
    • Non-linear electronic circuit
    • Piecewise interpolation
  • Source/Input isolation
    • Impedance adaptation
      • Maximum feed power
      • Voltage signal
  • Transducer output
    • Preserve signal
      • Next stage charge circuit
meters and bridges
Meters and bridges
  • Differential mode
  • Common mode
wheatstone bridge
Wheatstone Bridge
  • Potentiometer divider
  • Zero Measurement
  • CMR>100 dB
  • Sensibility
  • Thermal immunity
kelvin bridge
Kelvin bridge
  • Very low resistors (<1R)
  • Double terminals
bridges circuits
Bridges circuits
  • AC generators
  • Current sources
  • OPAMPs applications
bridge noise immunity
Bridge noise immunity
  • Pick-up noise
  • Cable resistance
  • Signal Bandwidth
  • 3-wire connection
noise reduction
Noise reduction
  • …If noise blocking fails in the origin…

…Nightmare begins!

what can we filter
What can we filter?
  • Signal sampling: analog goes digital at what rate?
  • Nyquist criteria: fs>2fmax
  • Low-pass filters (cutoff -40 dB)
  • Guard-band
  • Sampling band: [fs-fmax, fs+fmax]
useful storage bandwith
Useful Storage Bandwith
  • Pratical figures
    • USB=fs/2.5
      • Sin Interpolation
    • USB=fs/10
      • Linear Interpolation
    • USB=fs/25
      • No Interpolation
    • USB=fs/4.6
      • Digital correction (factor 1.6) x (1/0.35)
  • Pass-band
  • Cut-off
  • Stop-band
  • Ripple
  • Order
  • Phase and amplitude characteristics
common filters
Common Filters
  • Lowpass
  • Highpass
  • Passband
  • Notch
  • Digital filtering (made possible with fast ADCs)
    • Advantages: High order, cutoff frequency, complex transforms
    • Signal correlation
other techniques
Other Techniques
  • Periodic signals
    • Lock-in amplifiers
      • Cross correlation
    • Boxcar integration
    • Multichannel mean
      • Overlap of periodic signals
      • S/N~N1/2
other techniques1
Other Techniques
  • Pulsed signals
    • Constant Fraction


transimpedance amplifier
Transimpedance amplifier
  • Allow very low current sources detection, ex: photodiodes
    • Tomography
    • Spectrometers
    • Line radiation filters
  • Charge measurements, ex: ion beam
  • High bandwidth
i v probes
I(V) probes
  • Current detection
    • Ground loop
    • Safety - galvanic isolation
    • Sweep waveforms – capacitive coupling and distortion
    • Fast sweeping – plasma limit operation