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Practical Electronic Instrumentation For All Engineering Disciplines

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.357.1 - 1.357.5

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Paper Authors

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K.A. Korzeniowski

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

I . Session 2659 .

Practical Electronic Instrumentation for All Engineering Disciplines

K.A. Korzeniowski United States Naval Academy


True engineering is a multi-discipline field and commonalities exist among all types of engineers. Engineers work within their environment and control processes by using instrumentation in order to sample surrounding physical phenomenon such as light level, temperature and pressure. Electronic Instrumentation Systems are concerned with data acquisition, signal processing and computer control. In these systems, data acquisition circuits use sensors and signal conditioning electronics in order to convert physical environmental changes into electric signals that can be processed with a computer.

Gaining experience with practical electronic instrumentation is an important experience for any engineering student and should be a part of a rounded engineering education. Design is a major component of the course described in this paper, therefore the course complies with the American Board for Engineering Technology (ABET) requirement that the design process should bean integral part of the engineering curriculum. The material learned in this type of course can be immediately applied to independent design projects and these skills can later be used in professional work. This paper describes the process of introducing practical electronic instrumentation to non-Electrical Engineers.

I. Introduction

The tasks performed by engineers and scientists are often concerned with sampling and affecting the current state of the working environment. A Chemical Engineer, for instance, may make measurements of process parameters in order to control a reaction. A Mechanical Engineer may design a control system for a mobile robot that would affect the machine’s position in the world based on the objects sensed in its path. These instrumentation measurements are made by deploying sensors in the working environment. The sensors provide an electric signal that changes in response to the physical surroundings. This electric signal is conditioned and then analyzed. If specific circumstances are met, then the devices that are being controlled are adjusted to react to the new environmental conditions. The whole task is often automated and put under closed-loop computer control.

The curriculum at many institutions gives engineering students the opportunity to learn the very basic principles of electric circuit theory. The material taught in the course described in this paper makes the next step: teaching students the necessary tools to evaluate and design the instrumentation systems that will become their trade tools as engineers. This course fills an immediate need of many students, giving them a background for

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Korzeniowski, K. (1996, June), Practical Electronic Instrumentation For All Engineering Disciplines Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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