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Course Outline: ECCE 4455: Sensors & Actuators

Sultan Qaboos University

College of Engineering
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Course Outline

Sensors and Actuators (3 credits ECCE4455)

Spring 2016
Instructor: Dr. Ashraf Saleem
Time & Place: Lectures: Sun (CMT/C06) 10:00-11 :50, Thu. (CMT/C06) 10:00-11:50//ENG0057
Office Hours: 12-12:50 (Sun, Tue)
Offices: 2057, Dept. ECE
Telephone: Ext: 1373
Emails: asaleem@squ.edu.om

1. Course Description

This course introduces the fundamentals of sensors and actuator, their working principles, and how
to select them for a given application. The course is divided into two parts. The first part deals with
sensors and covers: measurement system behavior, analog and digital signal conditioning, and
sensors and transducers selection for system design. The second part concentrates on actuators and
covers: electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic actuators, the advantages and limitaions, the selection
and intgration procedures. Learning activities include lectures, assigments, labs, and a design poject.

Prerequisites by course: Measurements and Instrumentation (ECCE3036)

Prerequisites by topic:
1. Fundamentals of error analysis
2. Transducers: mechanical, strain gauges, measurement of resistance (Wheatstone bridges)


2. Textbook & Supplemental Materials

1. R. S. Figliola & D. E. Beasly, “Theory and Design for Mechanical Measurements”, John Wiley, 5 th edition,
2. Process Control Instrumentation Technology, By Curtis Johnson, 8th Edition, 2006.
3. Modern Control Technology: Components and Systems, Christopher Kilian, 3rd Edition, 2005.
4. Sensors and Actuators: Control System Instrumentation, by Clarence W. de Silva,, CRC Press 2007
5. Sensors, Actuators and Their Interfaces, N. Ida, Scitech Publishers, 2014
6. J.P. Holman, “Experimental methods for Engineers”, Mc Graw Hill, 7th edition, 2001.
7. Golding, E.W., and Widdis, F.C., "Electrical Measurements and Measuring Instruments", A H Wheeler &
Company, Calcutta, 1993.
8. Sawhney, A.K., "A Course in Electrical and Electronic Measurement and Instrumentation", Dhanpat Rai &
Sons, New Delhi, 1995.

Lecture Notes:
Some supporting material such as solved problems will be available for download from course Web Page: to
be communicated later.

Course Outline: ECCE 4455: Sensors & Actuators

3. Course Objectives
The objectives of this course are to:
1. Understand the theoretical principles of the different sensors and actuators.
2. Choose the most appropriate sensors or actuator for a control applications and read a sensor and
actuator data sheet and determine.
3. Design and construct the appropriate conditioning circuit/interface circuits for the sensors and
4. Obtain properties of sensors and actuators such as sensitivity, resolution, response time, etc, and
relate these to experimental values,
5. Integrate sensors and actuators into an overall system, and
6. Interpret data acquired from a sensor and measurement system.

4. Course Outcomes
Students will be expected to develop the following skills/understanding upon the successful completion of this course:
a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
The students are introduced to systems containing electronic circuits and devices which are analyzed using
mathematical models and knowledge of operating principles associated with these circuits and devices.
b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
The students conduct experiments on sensors systems through term project and then analyze their results in
order to understand the functionality and characteristics of different sensors.
c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
Projects and homework expose the students to tasks that require designing circuits for particular applications
or meeting given desired objectives.
e) identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
In every chapter, students will be exposed to solve engineering problems. For instance, they identify the
problems in using certain electronic elements (sensor, amplifier, filter, A/D, D/A) and then try to solve those
problems by suggesting solutions.
k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
Throughout the course, students use modern simulation packages in assignments. They are strongly urged to
keep developing skills in using such packages.

5. Course Contents

The following topics will be covered in this course:

Material to be Covered
1 Introduction to sensors and actuators
2 Analog conditioning circuits
3 Sensors: overview, classification, characteristics, and performance criteria and
selection. Covered sensors: position and displacement, velocity, force, pressure,
temperature, flow, shaft encoders,
4 Actuators: overview, classification, characteristics, and performance criteria and
selection. Covered actuators: electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic
5 Actuators selection and control technology
7 Software and hardware interfacing with the actuators
8 Sensors and actuators integration in control system

6. Labs
We will use the sensors kit D1750 and the associated lab manual. Computer-Aided Instruction (CAI) unit will be
also used. Students are requested to form groups of 4-5, who shall work on one kit.
Lab1 (Chap4 in lab manual): The Temperature Sensors (IC, RTD, Thermistor, T/C)
Lab2 (Chap7 in lab manual): Environmental Measurement (pressure, humidity, air flow)
Lab3 (Chap6 in lab manual): Lin. Position/Force Applications (LVDT, Variable C, strain gauge)
Lab4 Chap5 in lab manual): Light Measurement (LDR, PV cell, photo-transistor, photodiode)
Lab5 (Chap8 in lab manual): Rotational Speed or Position Measurement

Course Outline: ECCE 4455: Sensors & Actuators

7. Instructional Methods
1. Lecture/Tutorial.
2. Labs
3. Homework.

8. Course Assessment

There will be a series of quizzes during lectures. They may be open-book or closed-book and are generally short
consisting of 1 or 2 questions. Students may be given one problem of the homework assigned to them during
the lecture after they submit their assignments.

There will be one test. The test will count for 20% of the course total grade. Only students who fail to take a test
with a legitimate reason will be allowed for a make-up test.

Final Exam
This will be a two-hour/two and a half-hour examination and the date and time will be announced by the
University timetabling office prior to exams.

Mark Scheme
The final course grade will be weighted according to the following scheme:
(1) Labs 10%
(2) Quizzes 10%
(3) Homework 5%
(4) Midterm 25%
(5) Project 10%
(6) Final Exam 40%
Total: 100%

9. Student Responsibilities

Minimum Student Materials:

Text books, class handouts, engineering calculator, and an access to Personal Computer.
Collaboration Policies:
You can consult each other while working on the homework, but all the work that you submit must be your own.
There will be group assignment also. Furthermore, the mini-project will be done in groups. Discuss the
assignments among yourselves. This is helpful to the learning process. However, direct copying of others work
will NOT be allowed or tolerated and will result in a reduction of grade.
Attendance Policy:
In accordance with the University Regulations, it is the student’s responsibility to be punctual and to attend all
classes. Failure to attend classes without prior approval for whatever reason is considered as part of the
percentage missed. Students bear full responsibility for checking their own attendance record. Attendance
records are kept, and an”absentee warning notice” will be issued if a student is absent for more than 10% of the
total contact hours. An “absentee withdrawal notice” will be issued and the student will be deemed to have
withdrawn from the course with an “FW” grade if a student is absent for more than 20% of the total contact
Code of Ethics
Academic misconduct is defined as the use of any dishonest or Mayeitful means to gain some academic
advantage or benefit. This can take many forms, including but not limited to, the following:
1. Examinations
a) copying, or attempting to copy, from another student's work, or permitting another student to
copy from your work
b) using notes of whatever kind in the formation of answers in a closed book examination
c) impersonation of another student in an examination, seminar or other form of presentation
d) disrupting the conduct of examinations by illegally obtaining access to examination papers or
answers, and/or distribution of this material to others

Course Outline: ECCE 4455: Sensors & Actuators

2. Assignments, Essays, etc.

a) plagiarism: Using the words, thoughts, ideas, results, etc., of another person in a written
assignment, without acknowledging the source, as if it were the student's own work
b) copying: Copying another person's answers in an essay, assignment, paper, laboratory report,
etc. and presenting it, either wholly or with only minor changes, as if it were the student's own
c) collusion: Working with others on an assignment which is intended to be an individual
assignment, and incorporating their material into your work
d) switching: Submitting work completed for one course in another course without the permission
of the instructor
e) falsification: Inventing data or altering data that have been obtained from legitimate sources

3. Forging University documents

Submitting or using forged academic documents or forged signatures for the purpose of personal
gain or fraud.
If a student commits an act of academic misconduct, whether defined above or of a different nature,
it may be documented and then one or more of the following penalties may be applied:
written warning
downgrading of an assignment or examination
an 'F' grade given to the assignment or examination
an 'F' grade given to the course
suspension from the University for a specified period
expulsion from the University

Professional Contribution:
The course helps the student developing skills in circuits design and analysis. It reinforces using the
abstract of knowledge in science and math aquired before. Also, it introduces the student to the usage
of computer-aided-design tools (e.g. SPICE), a fundamental asset for today’s engineers.

Useful Information
It is important that all students develop knowledge about sensors and try to simulate associated
circuits studied during the lectures and tutorials. This is a student-centered process; without self-
motivation to learn and practice you go no farther.
Useful Sites:
Visit Omega site: http: www.omega.com to learn more about all types of sensors and their applications. The
ability to gather the resources efficiently plays an important role in the design process. You should know
where to find what. The World Wide Web provides an easy way to search. If you know of any other
resources, please let me know by sending e-mail to asaleem@squ.edu.om . I will announce it in class for
everyone's benefit.
Professional societies such as these have many useful links.
 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: ieee.org
 Institute of Electrical Engineers: www.iee.org