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MAE 334 - Introduction to Instrumentation and Computers

 - Course Objectives

 - Laboratory Info

 - Course Notes & Schedule

 - Grading Policy

 - Instructor

 - Teaching Assistants

 - Text Book



Lecture Instructor:

Scott Woodward
323 Jarvis Hall


Office Hours: After Class on Wednesday and Thursday by appointment only

Lecture TA: To be announced

Lab Instructor:

Dr. Roger Mayne
1005 Furnas Hall
Office Hours: by appointment

Course Objectives:

The primary objective of this course is to provide an introduction to several of the topics that a mechanical or aerospace engineer will need to master in order to successfully design experiments and interact with measurement systems. In addition to an introduction to several common physical measurement systems and sensors (like an accelerometer or strain gage) modern methods of computerized data acquisition, common statistical techniques, experimental uncertainty analysis and guidelines for planning and documenting experiments will be covered. Many of the subjects covered are the primary subject of complete courses, books or major technical bodies of work. This course is designed to provide a foundation to these areas of broad importance to countless real-world engineering activities. The pursuit of solutions to questions whose answers depend on sound experimental practices (even if they are numerical experiments like computation fluid dynamics or finite element analysis) will depend heavily on this foundation. Understanding how to interact with, manipulate and quantify the errors associated with digital data is essential to designing experimental practices capable of achieving meaningful objectives. The ability of computers to produce overwhelming quantities of information places demands on the experimentalist to carefully design experiments to acquire meaningful quality data not massive quantities of data.

The laboratory sessions are designed to reinforce the concepts presented in the lectures and to give you hands-on experience in using modern computerized data acquisition system and instrumentation. A secondary objective of the course is to teach good laboratory practice, work habits and experiment design.

We will make extensive use of spreadsheets for graphing data, performing statistical calculations and general computations. If you are not proficient in the use of spreadsheets you are advised not to take MAE 334.

Textbook Information:

R.S. Figliola & D.E. Beasley, Theory and Design for Mechanical Measurements. John Wiley and Sons, NY, Fourth Edition, 2006. The older 3rd edition is acceptable.

John Wiley has a good website for the 4th edition of the text

Topics covered in the course:

  1. Characteristics of signals (Ch. 2)
  2. Behavior of measurement systems (0th, 1st & 2nd order, Ch. 3)
  3. Analysis of sampled data (Ch. 4)
  4. Uncertainty analysis (Ch. 5)
  5. Analog devices and signal conditioning (Ch. 6)
  6. Sampling of analog signals (Ch. 7)
  7. Temperature measurements (Ch.8)
  8. Pressure and Position measurements (Ch. 9 & Ch. 12)

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