EECS 395 (Special topics)   Sensors: Fundamentals and Applications

Connective. Multidisciplinary. Stimulating. 

This is a brand new class open to McCormick undergraduates interested in aspects of sensor technology - design, materials, transduction principles, manufacturing, and commercialization. The course is open to anyone who has completed 2 years of McCormick basic courses. Most juniors and seniors would qualify automatically. This class is open to graduate students.

What is Sensor? sensors are transduction devices that turns physical or chemical variables (temperature, acceleration, rotation, pressure, humidity, pH, concentrations) into electronics signals.  As such, sensors are used widely in many industries for automation, monitoring and control. Sensors are used in consumer electronics, automobiles, medical equipments, chemical plants, buildings, civil structures, etc. Modern sensors in consumer electronics products, hospitals, biomedical instruments, patient monitoring devices, life style products make sensors extremely exciting and relevant to future technology development trends. This is the first time that such a course is offered to McCormick students.

Why should one study sensors?
* sensors encompass interdisciplinary science including materials, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering. As such, study of sensors is fun and of interest to students of many subject areas.
* a sensor class is a perfect follow up to the engineering first principles. Sensors incorporate many phenomena, including thermal, electromagnetics, fluidics, acoustic, optical. Sensors topic involves magnetics, electromagnetics, fluid mechanics, materials, and circuit design. They would enrich and challenge your understanding of engineering first principle classes.

What do I expect from this course?
This class contains a samping of nearly all aspects of sensor physics, design, building, and applications. It covers a broad spectrum of knowledge: transduction physics, materials, fabrication and manufacturing, physics, circuits, and design. For example, EE majors will find this class cover topics out of regular EE curriculum (including thermal, fluid, etc). However, there will be a concerted efforts to make sure that students don't become overwhelmed.  This class will help you learn and appreciate diverse subject areas, and requires minimal background knowledges.

What is the benefits of taking this class?
- This course is broad and diverse.  It is based on both first-principle physics and real-world applications. 
- This course will challenge you and solidify your background knowledge for courses that you already took. You will see many familiar substances from a new perspective.
- This course will help you become better prepared for the exciting and real technology world of the future.


Week 1: Introduction to sensor based measurement systems: general concept and terminology, characteristics, dynamics intro slides   
Week 2:Primary sensors: temperature sensors, pressure sensors, flow sensors, level sensors, force sensors, acceleration sensors, velocity sensors
Week 3: Resistive sensors: strain gauge, thermistors, magnetoresistors, light dependent resistors, resistive gas sensors
Week 4: Signal conditioning for resistive sensors - voltage dividers, Wheatstone bridge, differential amplifiers, interference
Week 5: Electromagnetic sensors - capacitive sensors, inductive sensors, superconducting quantum interference devices, flux-gate sensors
Week 6: Electromagnetic sensors - signal conditioning
Week 7: Self-generating sensors - thermoelectric, piezelectric, pyroelectric, and photovoltaic sensors
Week 8: Digital sensors - encoder, resonant sensor, conversion to frequency, period, and time
Week 9: Sensor fabrication methods
Week 10: Sensor projects and case studies review

Textbook: Sensors and signal conditioning, Ramon Pallas-Areny, Wiley
Time: MWF 9-9:50, Spring 2011

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