Instrumentation and sensors

lelec2811  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Instrumentation and sensors
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
30.0 h + 30.0 h
Bol David (coordinator); Francis Laurent;
Students are expected to master the following skills: continuous-time and discrete-time signal representation both in time and frequency domains, mathematical system representations (transfer function, impulse response, filtering), principles and properties of Fourier, Laplace and z transforms, analysis of electrical circuits based on passive components (R, L, C), in DC, transient and AC regimes, understanding of general behavior of operational amplifiers, diodes and transistors with the associated basic electronic circuits, as they are covered within the courses LFSAB1106, LELEC1370 and LELEC1530
Main themes
Our world is more and more digital with the increasing presence of information and electronic systems in industry, transportation, health cares and everyday's life. Many of the digital applications in these fields require the automatic acquisition of quantities from the physical world. In this course, we study the instrumentation chain and the sensors capable to perform this acquisition of physical quantities to translate them into analog electrical signals and then digital data.
In this course, we will present different types of sensors used for the transduction of several physical values, e.g., occupancy, mechanical, acoustic, optical, bio/chemical, ' and the  associated electronic circuits for signal conditioning and data transmission. We will highlight the figures of merit of the instrumentation chain and all sources of errrors along it

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


With respect to the AA referring system defined for the Master in Electrical Engineering, the course contributes to the develoopment, mastery and assessment of the following skills :

  • AA1.1, AA1.2, AA1.3
  • AA2.1, AA2.2
  • AA3.1, AA3.3
  • AA4.1, AA4.2, AA4.3, AA4.4
  • AA5.3, AA5.4, AA5.5

After this course, the student will be able to :

  • Describe the operation principles of various classes of sensors
  • Select sensors for a given application
  • Size, realise and characterise a complete instrumentation chain
  • Understand and use datasheets
  • Present a written report of the results of group project

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
In this course course, we study the key basic concepts in sensor systems and their associated instrumentation.
  • Sensor definition, classification and characterisation
  • Noise, non idealities and calibration in sensor systems
  • Principles of transduction ruling the conversion from primary physical signals to electrical signals.
  • Analog signal conditioning (sensor interface, instrumentation amplifier, filters, instrumentation bridges).
  • Principles and techniques of sensor data acquisition
  • Digital signal processing (denoising) and data processing (feature extraction, event detection, classification) in sensor systems.
  • Some frequent applications in the industrial field will be considered: measure of displacement, speed, force, acceleration, pressure, temperature, light, acoustic.
Teaching methods
The course combines lectures to introduce the key concepts with project-based learning with a group project and a few exercise sessions.
Evaluation methods
  • Group assignements on a project during the semester.
  • Individual written exam.
Livre de référence disponible à la BST : J. Fraden, Handbook of Modern Sensors: Physics, Designs, and Applications. 4th ed. Springer, 2010. ISBN: 9781441964656.
Teaching materials
  • Transparents des cours, chapitres du livre de référence, disponibles en ligne
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Biomedical Engineering

Master [120] in Physical Engineering

Master [120] in Electro-mechanical Engineering

Master [120] in Electrical Engineering