Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Instrumentation Systems
Academic Year
Semester 1
PH15720 or PH15510; and successful completion of Part 1.
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 36 hours
Lecture 12 x 1-hour lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Labview Report  50%
Semester Assessment Assignments  50%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Supplementary exam  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:

1. describe the basic characteristics of signal
2. explain the origins of noise and predict its impact on electronic instruments
3. describe the operation and limitation of some transducers
4. outline and estimate the limitations of amplifier circuits
5. describe the operation of simple filters and differentiate between active and passive filters
6. outline some simple signal processing techniques, such as signal averaging and phase sensitive techniques
7. explain the problems associated with converting analogue to digital signals
8. describe the basic principles of digital signal processing
9. interface to experiments using the LabView.

Brief description

Measurement is an essential part of the scientific process. Instrumentation is the technology of measurement. In this module, students are taught the fundamental principles of instrumentation, to design a measurement system which takes due regard of problems such as accuracy, time response and noise of the overall system and its suitability for a particular measurement.


What is an electronic instrumentation system? A top-down approach to system design.
Types of signal encountered by instrumentation systems.
Important terms assocaited with instrumentation systems.
Comparison of digital and analogue instruments.
Noise in instrumentation systems and its characterisation.
Physical origins of fundamental noise.
Examples of sensors used in instrumentation systems.
Effects of loading.
Review of AC circuits and detailed analysis of simple RC circuit.
Electronic amplifiers and their equivalent circuit.
Input and output resistance, frequency response, noise and cascading of amplifiers.
General characteristics of filters including comparison of passive and active filters.
What is a digital system? How digital systems handle numbers.
Analogue to digital conversion - sampling and quantisation.
Types of converters and the errors associated with them.

36 hours of practical sessions will take place throughout the semester to introduce LabView and instrumentation systems.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Bishop, Robert H. (c2007.) LabVIEW 8 student edition /Robert H. Bishop. Pearson Prentice Hall Primo search Kleitz, William (May 2005) Digital Electronics with VHDL (Quartus II Version) Prentice Hall [Imprint] Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5