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An Instrumentation And Data Acquisition Course At Purdue University

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Curriculum and Laboratory Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.183.1 - 7.183.15



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Paper Authors

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Hartono Sumali

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 2208

An Instrumentation and Data Acquisition Course at Purdue University

Hartono Sumali

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


The course teaches measurements of variables common in industry, signal conditioning, data acquisition using computers, data processing, and transmission and communication of measurement results. Graphical programming is used by students to write programs for the acquisition, processing, and presentation of data.

The instrumentation laboratory test stands have a computer, a data acquisition system, various transducers for pressure, flow, and temperature, and several other process control components such as valves, a pressure accumulator, a heat exchanger and heaters. The test stands are self- contained, modular, movable and can be used wherever there is electric power. Internet connection allows monitoring and control of the test stands from anywhere in the world.

Students have applied the skills gained in the course to research and industrial uses. The course has helped one of its students win an international scholarship. Started at Purdue University, the course has been taught at, and is in the process of being adopted by a university in Brazil.


In 1996, the agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) Department at Purdue University conducted one of its periodic curriculum reviews. In that review, its alumni in engineering and management professions expressed that ABE graduates needed better skills in measurement instrumentation and data acquisition. As a response to the alumni feedback, and to the emerging field of precision agriculture, the Department started a course entitled Instrumentation and Data Acquisition in the fall semester of 1998. The course contents were selected from topics recommended by engineers practicing in industry, taking into consideration the materials offered in similar courses at other universities 1. In 2000, the Department further refined the course contents to ensure compliance with the ABET 2000 criteria, which stressed an assessment of the course based on the outcomes.

This paper highlights two important aspects of the course: the outcomes of the course as viewed by practicing engineers and researchers, and the means to achieve those outcomes, particularly the learning methodology and the laboratory equipment. Additionally, the paper discusses a novel concept in learning instrumentation, namely, the hands-on learning of virtual instruments

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Sumali, H. (2002, June), An Instrumentation And Data Acquisition Course At Purdue University Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10561

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