163 Instrumentation for Test and Measurement

Some organizations are wasting time and money using archaic, unreliable instrumentation. They are using outdated technologies to monitor today’s products and processes. Course 163 offers understanding of modern instrumentation and systems, with which data can be acquired with a speed, volume and accuracy unknown in the past.

For Whom Intended  Engineers, aides and technicians. Some background in electronics is helpful but is not essential. The course will be tailored to student objectives.

Objectives  To provide a basic understanding of measurement systems. To alert the students to the many varieties of transducers available, their operating principles, strengths and weaknesses. To give students enough applications information that they can select optimum transducer, amplifier, recording and readout devices to assemble a system for routine measurements of environmental and dynamic phenomena.

Brief Course Description  Mainly lectures, supported by slides, transparencies, videotapes and sample hardware. Students are expected to participate in classroom discussions and in a small group case study exercise, as well as read text materials and class notes.

Course 163 presents basic information on selection, application, calibration and usage of modern measurement systems to measure electrical, environmental and dynamic phenomena. The course emphasizes a non-mathematical approach to understanding concepts and mechanisms. A variety of measurands and transducer types is covered, as well as signal conditioning, recording and analysis.

Participants are encouraged to bring a specific measurement problem to class for use as a case study. The instructor will introduce one or more student problems (and/or a preselected case) on the first day. Each day’s course material will further develop the case study. A solution will be given at the end.

Diploma Programs  This course is required for TTi’s Environmental Engineering Specialist (EES), Dynamic Test Specialist (DTS) and Climatic Test Specialist (CTS) Diploma Programs. It may be used as an optional course in any other TTi Specialist Diploma Program.

Prerequisites  There are no definite prerequisites, but participation in TTi’s course Electronics for Non-Electronic Engineers or the equivalent would be helpful.

Text Each student will receive 180 days access to the on-line electronic course workbook. Renewals and printed textbooks are available for an additional fee.

Course Hours, Certificate and CEUs  Class hours/days for on-site courses can vary from 14-35 hours over 2-5 days as requested by our clients. Upon successful course completion, each participant receives a certificate of completion and one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for every ten class hours.

INTERNET COMPLETE COURSE 163 features almost 15 hours of video as well as more in-depth reading material. All chapters of course 163 are also available as OnDemand Internet Short Topics. See the course outline below for details.

Click for a printable course outline (pdf).

Course Outline

Chapter 1.1 - Review of Electrical Fundamentals Part 1

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OnDemand Short Topics$150.00
  • Electrostatic Field and Potentials/Electrical Charge
  • Conductors and Insulators/Current
  • Current/Resistance
  • Voltage/Ohm’s Law
  • EMFs in Series and Parallel
  • Resistors
  • Series Circuits
  • Capacitors in DC Circuits
    • Capacitance
    • Capacitors in parallel
    • Capacitors in Series
  • Inductance
  • Alternating Current
    • Sine Wave
    • Summary — Effective or RMS Value of Current and Power
    • Sinusoidal Waveforms
    • SDoF — Sinusoidal Relationships
  • Reactance
  • Impedance
  • Frequency and Phase
    • Phasors—Rectangular Coordinates
    • The j Operator
    • Polar Coordinates
  • Inductive Reactance
  • Capacitive Reactance
  • Impedance in Series R-L-C  AC Circuits
  • Series Resonance
  • Resonant Frequency
  • Q of a Series Circuit
  • Bandwidth of Series R-L-C Circuit
    • Bandwidth Example
  • Parallel Resonance
  • Band Pass and Band Stop Filters

Chapter 1.2 - Review of Electrical Fundamentals Part 2

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OnDemand Short Topics$100.00
  • Types of Signals
    • Complex Signals
    • Square Wave Signals
    • Complex Spectrum of a Periodic Time Function
    • Transient Signals
    • Complex (Pyroshock) Time History
    • Random Signals
  • Mutual Inductance
  • Transformers
    • Transformer Equivalent Circuit
    • Transformer Turns Ratio
    • Impedance Matching
  • Electrical Power in AC Circuits
    • Electrical Power and Energy
  • Laboratory Practice—Safety
  • Types of Grounds
    • Grounds-Three Wire Outlet
    • Example of Incorrect Grounding Technique

Chapter 2 - Decibels (dB), Logarithmic vs. Linear Scaling, Frequency Spectra, Octaves

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Decibels
    • Power and Voltage Ratio
    • Application of dB Notation
    • dB Ratio Conversions
    • Adding Two Power Ratios in dB
    • Reference Levels for Decibel Notation
  • Logarithmic vs. Linear Scaling
  • Sound Perception
    • Frequency Spectra for Various Noise Sources
    • Diatonic Musical Scale
  • Octaves
    • Acoustic Analysis
    • 1/3 Octave Bandwidth
    • Center Frequency

Chapter 3 - Noise

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Noise Signal, Gaussian Distribution
  • Detecting a Weak Signal
  • Noise Calculations
  • Noise Suppression for Sensor Signals
  • Noise Figure and Distortion
  • Electronic Noise Measurements
  • Phase Noise
    • Phase Noise Display
    • Phase Noise in Communications
  • The Noise Corner Frequency
  • External Noise Sources
    • Common Electrical Noise from External Sources
  • Types of Noise
    • Shot (or Schottky) Noise
    • Thermal (or Johnson) Noise
    • Thermal Noise, Example
    • Flicker (1/f) Noise
    • Burst Noise
    • Avalanche Noise
  • Noise Should be Viewed as a Vector

Chapter 4 - Parameters of Linear Systems

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Sensors and Systems
  • Components of an Instrumentation System
  • Frequency Response
  • Dynamic Range and Linearity
    • Non-Linear Mechanical System
    • Non-Linear Systems
    • Input-Output Characteristic Curve
    • Distortion of a Sine Wave
    • Typical Linearity Curve of an Instrument
    • Methods of Computing Linearity
  • Signal and Spectrum Before and After Clipping
  • Design/Performance Characteristics of Sensors
  • Effects of Inadequate Frequency Response
  • System response to a Rectangular Pulse
  • Low-pass, High-pass and Bandpass Networks
  • Phase Response
  • Response of a Linear Network to a Sine Wave

Chapter 5 - Accuracy, Calibration and Error Assessment

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Simple Statistics of Measurement
  • Random Data and the Gaussian Distribution
  • Cumulative Distribution Functions
  • Probability Density Functions
  • Confidence Levels
  • Types of Error
    • Measurement Error
    • Systematic Error
    • Total System Error: a Function of Elemental Errors
  • Error Assessment
    • “System Accuracy” or “Calibration” Plot
  • Temperature Error
  • Transducer Error
  • Areas of the Normal Curve
    • Table: Normal Curve
  • t (Student) Distribution
    • Table: t Distribution
  • Chi-Square Distribution
    • Table: Chi-Square Distribution

Chapter 6 - Transducers

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OnDemand Short Topics$150.00
  • It starts with you and the sensor
  • The Ideal Transducer
    • Characteristics of an Ideal Transducer
    • Mechanisms in General
  • Environmental Effects
  • Temperature Measurements
    • Temperature Effects
  • Temperature Sensors
    • Thermoelectric Transducers
    • Thermocouples
    • Temperature Sensor Attributes
    • Temperature Sensors Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Strain Gauge
  • Displacement - Direct Measurement
  • Silicon Semiconductor Transducers
    • Accelerometer Sensing Element
  • Accelerometers
    • Frequency Response
    • Acceleration Response
  • Seismic Transducer
  • Vibration Transducers
  • Piezoelectric Accelerometers
  • Mounting Effects
  • Stress and Strain
    • Stress and Strain in a Beam
    • Torque
      • Torque and its Results
  • Pressure Transducers
    • Uses of Pressure Transducers
    • Pressure Sensors
  • Flow Meters
  • Velocity Sensing Module
  • Acoustic Waves
  • Linear Variable Differential Transducer  (LVDT)
  • Potentiometric Transducers

Chapter 7 - Amplifiers and Signal Conditioners

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Conditioning the Signal — Detection
  • DC Carrier Amplifier
  • Carrier Amplifier used with AC-Excited Bridge
  • FM Carrier Amplifier
  • Lock-in Amplifier
  • Capacitive Source Impedance
  • Resistive Source Impedance
  • The Bridge Circuit
  • Strain Gage Compensation
  • Equivalent Circuits, Bridge Transducers
  • Shunt Calibration
  • Voltage Insertion Calibration
  • RC High-Pass Filter

Chapter 8 - Avoiding Unwanted Signals

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Unwanted Signals
  • Electrical Noise: High Signal Source Impedance
  • Low Signal Source Impedance
  • Source Shunting Effect
  • Parallel Conductors
  • Twisted Signal Conductors
  • Microvolt-Level Signal Cables
  • Basic Amplifier Types
    • Typical Low-level Chopper Amplifier
  • Grounding and Shielding
    • Ground Loops
    • Eliminating Multiple Grounds
    • A Stable System Ground
    • Incorrect Grounding
    • Correct Grounding
    • Using the Amplifier Guard Shield
  • Common Mode Rejection
    • System Common Mode Rejection
  • Good Wiring Practice

Chapter 9 - System Considerations

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Amplifier-Source Compatibility
  • Source Shunting Effect
  • Calibrated Zero Suppression
  • Amplifier Characteristics
    • Four Basic Types of Amplifiers
    • Typical Uses of Different Amplifier Types
    • Differential Amplifier
    • Amplifier Compatibility Summary
    • Piezo Voltage Amplifier
    • Impedance Transforming Amplifiers
  • Piezoelectric Transducers with Amplifier
  • Insufficient RC Time Constant
  • Charge Converters
  • Other Amplifier Characteristics

Chapter 10 - Integrating, Differentiating and Filters

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Integrating Circuits
  • Differentiating Circuits
  • Input/Output Curves for Differentiating Circuits
  • Filtering
    • Acoustic Weighting
    • Bandpass Filter
    • Undamped (high Q) vs. Damped (low Q) Filters
    • Selective Filtering
  • Filter Characteristics
    • Characteristics of Butterworth Filters
    • Characteristics of Chebyshev Filters
    • Characteristics of Bessel Filters
  • RC and LR Circuits — Charge and Delay Curves
    • Reaction of an R-C Circuit to a Square Wave
  • Amplifier Limiting

Chapter 11 - Generating and Processing Digital Data

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Working with Digital Signals
  • Waveform Reproduction as Function of Sample Rate
  • Analog — Digital and Digital — Analog Conversion
  • Quantization Error for a 3-Bit Converter
  • Aperture Error
  • Aperture Time
  • Relationship Between Number of Bits and LSB

Chapter 12 - Digital Analytical Techniques

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OnDemand Short Topics$200.00
  • Fourier Without Pain
    • Adding Sine Waves
    • Time and Frequency Domain
    • Discrete Fourier Analysis
    • Fast Fourier Transform
    • Phase of Frequency Domain Components
    • Lowest Frequency Resolvable by the FFT
    • Frequencies of all the Spectral Lines of the FFT
  • Dynamic Signal Analyzer
    • Spectrum Analyzers
    • Analog Frequency Analyzer
    • How Analyzer Presents a Single Sinusoid
  • Amplitude Error from Sweeping Too Fast
  • Parallel Filter Analyzer
  • Digital Frequency Analyzer
    • Quick Look vs. Detailed Analysis
    • Random Frequency Analysis
  • Statistical Precision of a Spectrum Analysis
  • Aliasing
    • Aliasing in the Frequency Domain
    • Anti-Aliasing Filters
    • Two Types of Aliasing Filters
  • Analog and Digital Filtering
  • Windowing
    • Effect of Windowing in the Time Domain
    • Leakage Reduction with Windowing
    • Transient Events
    • Response Window vs. Force Window
    • Comparison of Weighting Functions
  • Correlation
    • Auto- and Cross-spectra
    • Auto Correlation of Periodic Waveforms
    • Auto Correlation of a Sine Buried by Noise
    • Simulated Radar Cross Correlation
  • Coherence

Chapter 13 - Oscilloscopes

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Analog Oscilloscopes
    • Analog Oscilloscope Display Screen
    • Analog Display Subsystem
  • Analog Oscilloscope Measurements
    • Voltage
    • Time and Frequency
    • Phase
    • Pulse
  • Lissajous Patterns
  • Digital Oscilloscopes
    • Two Channel
    • Digital Oscilloscope Considerations

Chapter 14 - Shock Measurement

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OnDemand Short Topics$100.00
  • Force Sensors
  • Load Cell Characteristics
  • Motion—Displacement Trackers
    • Characteristics of Motion Trackers
  • High Speed Photography
  • Electro-Magnetic Induction
  • Motion—Velocity Sensors
  • Motion—Acceleration
  • Seismic Transducers
    • Seismic Transducers Characteristics
  • Pendulum Calibration
  • Dynamic Calibration of Motion Sensors
  • Cabling
  • Accelerometer Attachment
  • Accelerometer Quick-Check Calibration
  • Accelerometer Loading Effect

Chapter 15 - Digital Measurement and Recording Instruments

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Digital Multimeters
    • Agilent 3458A
    • Agilent 34401A
  • Calibrator— Keithley Model 263
  • Current-to-Voltage Converter—SR570
    • SR570 Front and Rear View
  • HP 33120A Function Generator
  • Portable 18-Channel Data Acquisition Recorder
  • Portable Data Acquisition Recorder
  • Portable Hybrid Recorder
  • LabView Graphical Solutions

Chapter 16 - Digital Multimeter Operation

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Agilent 3458A Digital Multimeter
  • Power Requirements
  • General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB Bus)
  • Power-on Self Test, Ranging
  • Display, Function Keys
  • Self-Test
  • Remote Operation - GPIB
  • Display/Use GPIB Address
  • Calibration

Chapter 17 - Making Measurements with a Digital Multimeter

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Connection Configuration
  • Guarding
  • Measuring Voltage
    • DC Voltage
    • AC or AC+DC Voltage
  • Measuring DC Current
  • Measuring Resistance
    • 2-wire Ohms Measurements
    • 4-wire Ohms Measurements
  • A/D Converter
    • A/D Reference Frequency
    • A/D Integration Time
    • A/D-Power Line Cycles
    • A/D-Specifying Resolution
  • Autozero Function
  • Offset Compensation

Chapter 18 - Using a Function Generator/Arbitrary Waveform Generator

Purchase Options
OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • HP 33120A Function Generator
  • Waveforms Generated By A Function Generator
    • RMS Waveform
  • Signal Generation Process
  • Equivalent Circuit
  • Output Resistance and Load Resistance
  • Front Panel
    • Front Panel Number Entry
  • Frequency, Amplitude Selection
  • Offset Voltage Selection, Duty Cycle
  • Modification of Standard Waveforms
    • BenchLink and User-defined Arbitrary Waveforms
  • Specifications

Reference A - Glossary of Terms

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OnDemand Short Topics$25.00

Reference B - References, Bibliography, and Further Readings

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OnDemand Short Topics$25.00

Reference C - Typical Instrumentation Selection Check List

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OnDemand Short Topics$25.00

Appendix E - Analog Oscilloscope Controls

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OnDemand Short Topics$25.00

Summary and overview

Final presentation of “case study” project

Final Review

Award of certificates for successful completion

Click for a printable course outline (pdf).