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Sensors & Actuators

Lecture 3-4
Working from Process Diagram
Working of Mechanism
Sensor Dynamic Characteristics
Dynamic characteristics of Sensors

• What really is a
Dynamic Behavior of
– Behavior between the
time a measured
quantity changes value
and the time when the
instrument output
attains a steady value
in response.
Dynamic characteristics of Sensors

• Any idea HOW TO MODEL IT?

Dynamic characteristics of Sensors
• Typical Inputs

• Reason for Dynamic Behavior?

– Inertial: masses, inductances
– Capacitances: electrical, thermal
Dynamic characteristics of Sensors
• For a step change (assuming a linear output)

• Will reduce to
Dynamic characteristics of Sensors

• For Zero Order Instrument/Sensor:

Dynamic characteristics of Sensors

• For Zero Order Instrument/Sensor:

• Example:
Dynamic characteristics of Sensors
• First Order Sensors/Instruments:
Dynamic characteristics of Sensors
• First Order Sensors/Instruments:
First Order Dynamics
First Order Dynamics
First Order Dynamics
2nd Order Instruments/Sensors
2nd Order Instruments/Sensors
2nd Order Sensor Dynamics: Example
Example: The force-measuring spring

consider a spring with spring constant Ks under applied

force fi and the total mass M. At start, the scale is adjusted
so that xo = 0 when fi = 0;
dxo d 2 xo
fi − B − K s xo = M 2
dt dt
(MD2 + BD + Ks ) xo = fi
the second-order model:
K= m/N
n = rad/s
2 Ks M
2nd Order Sensor Dynamics: Examples
Self-Test Problem
Factors Affecting Performance
• Noise
• Bandwidth
• Sensor electronics
Sensor Noise
• All sensors produce some output noise in
addition to the output signal.
• Noise of the sensor limits the performance of
the system based on the sensor.
• All sensors have finite response times to an instantaneous
change in physical signal.
– In addition, many sensors have decay times, which would represent
the time after a step change in physical signal for the sensor output to
decay to its original value.
• The reciprocal of these times correspond to the upper and
lower cutoff frequencies, respectively.
– The bandwidth of a sensor is the frequency range between these two
• There is an inverse relationship between the bandwidth and
measurement time,
• In general, noise decreases with the square root of the
measurement time.
Sensor Electronics
• The electronics that go along with the physical
sensor element are often very important to
the overall device.
• The sensor electronics can limit the
performance, cost, and range of applicability.
• If carried out properly, the design of the
sensor electronics can allow the optimal
extraction of information from a noisy signal
• Sensor has static as well as dynamic
• Sensor characteristics are limited by physical
• Sensor characteristics provide choice of
selection for various applications
• Noise, electronics and degradation may
influence sensor performance.
Class Quiz:
Identify Sensing & Actuating Signals?
Sensing & Actuation
More on Sensor Characteristics
• Accuracy (Uncertainty)
More on Sensor Characteristics
• Static Transfer Function
More on Sensor Characteristics
• Sensor Response Time
Self-Test Problem
Self-Test Problems
Self-Test Problems
Self-Test Problems
Sensors Have Electrical Output
• Why Electrical Output?
– Use of computers /processors for end-processing
– Processors need electrical/electronic
Measurement System: Overview
• Sensor(s)/transducer(s)
• Signal processing device(s)
Analogue Measurements

Physical quantities such as Temperature, Speed, Pressure, Displacement,

Strain etc are all analogue quantities as they tend to be continuous in
Digital Measurements
Signal Conditioning
Low Pass Filtering
High Pass Filter
Voltage Divider Circuit
Wheatstone Bridge