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INTRODUCTION

Measurement and Instrumentation:


Measurement is a process by which one can convert physical parameter to meaningful
numbers. The numerical measure is meaningless unless followed by a unit used, since
it(unit) identifies the characteristic or property measured. Measurement involves the use
of instruments as a physical means of determining the value of unknown quantity or
variable.
In simple cases, an instrument consists of a single unit which gives an output reading or
signal according to the unknown variable applied to it. In more complex, measurement
situations, however, a measuring instrument m ay consists of several separate elements.
The elements may consist of transducing element which convert the measurand to an
analogous form. The analogous signal is then processed by some intermediate means an d
then fed to the end devices to present the results to measurement for the purpose of
display and or control.
Application and Need
The field of instrumentation encompasses almost all the areas of science and technology.
Even in our day to day life, instrumentation is indispensable. For ex, the ordinary
watch, an instrument for measurement of time is used by everybody, likewise an
automobile driver needs an instrument panel to facilitate him in driving the vehicle
properly. Certain common motivating factors for carrying out the measurements are as
follows.
Measurement of system parameters informations
One of the important functions of the instruments is to determine the various
parameters / informations of the system or a process. In fact, condition based system
of operation is being used very widely these days in a number of situations like medical
care of patients or maintenance of machines.
Control of certain process or control
Another important application of measuring instruments is in the field of
automatic control system. The very concept of any control in a system requires the
measured discrepancy between the actual and the desired performance. It may be noted
that for an accurate control of any physical variable in a process or an operation, it is
important to have an accurate measurement system.
Simulation of system conditioning.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to simulate experimentally the actual conditions
of complex situations for relieving the true behavior of the system under different
governing conditions. A scale model may be employed for this purpose and analytical
tools like dimensional analysis may also be employed to translate the experimental results
on the model to the prototype. The information thus obtained is used in the design and
development of the prototype.
Experimental design studies.
The design and development of a new product generally involves trial and error
procedures which generally involve the use of empirical relations, handbook data, the
standard practices mentioned in design. For ex a design team of experienced aircraft
designers put ina number of years of effort to produce a prototype aircraft. The prototype
is flown by a test pilot to determine the various performance / operating parameters. The
prototype test data is then used to improve further the design calculations and a modified
prototype is produced. This is carried on till eh desired design performance is achieved.
To perform various manipulations
In a number of cases, the instruments are employed to perform operations like
signal addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, differentiation, integration, signal
liberalization, signal sampling, signal averaging, multi point co relations, ratio controls,
etc. In certain cases, instruments are also used to determine the solution of complex
differential equations and other mathematical manipulations. A simple pocket calculator
is an example of mathematical processing instrument of some extent. Further the modern
large memory computers are instruments that are capable of doing varied types of
mathematical manipulations.
Testing of materials, Maintenance of standards and specifications
Most countries have standard organizations that specify material standards and
product specifications based on extensive test and measurements. These organizations
are meant to protect the interests of consumers. They ensure that the materials / products
meet the specified requirements so that they function properly and enhance the reliability
of the system.
Verifications of Physical phenomena / scientific theories
Quite often experimental data is generated to verify certain physical phenomenon.
Whenever, a scientist oar an engineer proposes any hypothesis predicting the systems
behaviour, it needs to be checked experimentally to put the same on a sound footing. In
addition, experimental studies play an important role in formulating certain empirical
relations where adequate theory does not exist.
Quality control in industry
It is quite common these days to have continuous quality control tests of mass
produced industrial products. This enables to discover defective components that are
outright rejected at early stages of production. Consequently, the final assemble of the
machine / system is free from defects. This improves the reliability of product
completely.
Medical field
Instruments such as magnetometers, radiation detectors and X Ray fluoroscopes
enable sensing and detection of physical quantities, which cannot be sensed or detected
by human beings.
In general, Instruments possessing additional capabilities such as storage of
measured data, correlation, computation and control function generation developed for
application in situations in which human skills and proficiency were limited made the
instruments to play a significant role in all the activities of man.
Instrument and Instrumentation
An instrument may be defined as a device or a system which is designed to
maintain a functional relationship between prescribed properties of physical variables and
must include ways and means of communications to human observer.
Instrumentation refers to the art and science of collection of several instruments
and auxiliary equipment and their utilization for conducting successfully a test or an
experiment on a system, process or plant (for measurement of a large number of variables
embracing the disciplines of physical sciences such as physics and chemistry and
engineering disciplines like electrical, mechanical, electronics, communication dn
computer engineering). Since all branches of science and technology utilize instruments
for measurement of quantities pertaining to their discipline, instrumentations system are
classified as belonging to chemical, aeronautical, medical, meteorological or optical. The
basic difference of one from the other are due to the nature and range of the measurand
and the transducer system (used to develop output signals which are electrical by nature).
FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS
It is possible to describe the operation of measuring instrument and associated
equipment in terms of the functional elements of instrumentation systems, and the
performance is defined in terms of static and dynamic performance characteristics. A
generalized measurement system consists of the following
(i) Basic functional elements
(ii) Auxiliary elements
Basic functional elements are those that are integral part of all instruments. They are
a) Primary sensing element or transducer elements
b) Signal conditioning or intermediate modifying element
c) Data presentation element
Auxiliary elements are those which may be incorporated in a particular system depending
on the type of requirement, nature of measurement technique on the type of requirement,
nature of measurement technique etc. Some of these elements are
a) Calibration element to provide a built in calibration facility
b) External power element to facilitate the working of one or more of the
elements like the transducer element, signal conditioning element, data
processing element or the feed back element
c) Feedback element of control the variation of the physical quantity that is
being measured.
Each functional element is made up of distinct component or groups of components
which perform the required and definite steps in the measurement.
1) Primary sensing element
The measurand (quantity under measurement) if first detected by sensor.
A sensor may be employed for detecting the existence or absence of a condition, or
sensing the degree or level of a physical condition, apart from responding to the condition
under measurement. This act is then immediately followed by the conversion of
measurand into an analogous electrical signal. This is done by a transducer. A
transducer is defined as a device which converts a physical quantity into an electrical
quantity. A transducer may be considered to have accomplished the function of
measurement by drawing an insignificant amount of power and energy from the system
under study where as a sensor does it by standing aloof without getting into physical
contact with medicum or system under examination. For ex. Intensity of radiation and
luminance of a source may be measured by sensors, whereas the temperature of a fluid is
measured by transducers. But both sensor and transducer convert one quantity into
another quantity of different dimension. This first stage of measurement system is known
as a detector transducer stage that senses and converts the desired input into a more
convenient and practicable form to be handled by the measurement system
2) Signal conditioning or intermediate modifying element.
The output signal of the primary sensing element is some physical variable
such as displacement or voltage. For the instrument to perform the desired function, it
may be necessary to convert this variable to another more suitable variable while
preserving the information content of original signal. An element that performs such a
function is called as a variable conversion element. For ex. Suppose output is in
analog form and the next stage of system accepts input signals only in digital form, an A /
D converter will have to be used. Not every instruments includes a variable conversion
element, but some require several.
In performing its intended task, an instrument may require that a signal
represented by some physical variable by manipulated in some way. By manipulation,
here means specifically a change in numerical value according to some definite rule but a
preservation of the physical nature of the variable. For ex. An electronic amplifier
accepts a small voltage signal as input and producers an output signal that is also a
voltage signal but is some constant times the input. An element that performs such a
function is called as variable manipulation element. A variable manipulation element
does not necessarily follow a variable conversion element, but may precede it, appear
elsewhere in the chain, or not appear at all.
More briefly, many times it becomes necessary to perform certain
operations on the signal before it is transmitted further. These processes may be linear
like amplification, attenuation integration, differentiation, addition and subtraction.
Some non linear process like modulation detection, sampling, filtering, chopping
clipping etc. are also performed on the signal to bring it to the desired form to be
accepted by the next stage of measurement system. This process of conversion is called
signal conditioning. The term signal conditioning refers to many other functions in
addition to variable conversion and variable manipulation. In general signal conditioning
element is for manipulation / processing he output of the transducer in a suitable form.
Data transmission element
When the functional elements of an instrument are actually physically separated,
it becomes necessary to transmit the data from one to another. An element performing
this function is called data transmission system. For ex. A shaft and bearing assembly
or a telemetry signal. The signal conditioning and transmission stage is commonly
known as intermediate system.
3) Data presentation element
If the information about the measured quantity is to be communicated to a
human being for monitoring, control or analysis purposes, it must be put into a form
recognizable by one of the human senses [ visual sense, hearing and touch ]. An element
that perform this translation function is called a data presentation element. This
function includes the simple indication of a pointer over a scale and recording of pen
moving over a chart.
Example:-
Consider the DArsonval Galvanometer used for voltage measurement. A
unknown voltage to be measured is applied to the ends of eth two wires which transmit
the voltage to a coil made up of a number of turns wound on a rigid frame. The coil is
suspended in the field of permanent magnet. The resistance of the coil converts the
applied voltage to a proportional current. The interaction between the current and the
magnetic field produces a torque which is converted to an angular deflection by the
torsion spring. Hence the spindle rotates and pointer shows deflection over the graduated
scale.
In this instrument, the coil and magnet assemble probably would be considered as
primary sensing element and the leas wires serve for data transmission purpose. The coil
and tortional spring acts a variable conversion element whereas the pointer and scale
arrangement is the data representation element.
The block diagram representation of the functional elements fo the measurement
system is shown
Analog output
Digital Output
Graphical Display
Printed output
Storage device
Calibration
signal generator
Quantity to
be measured
Force
Pressure
Voltage
Current
Power
Etc.
Primary
Sensing
Secondary
Sensing
Detector Transducer stage
Signal Conditioning stage
Amplifier
Clipper
Filter
A/ D converter
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CD / DVD
Data Representation stage
Data Transmission
element
External Power Supply
300 V, A.C
300 V, D.C
Calibration Element
Primary
Sensing
Element
Variable
conversion
element
Variable
manipulation
element
Data
presentation
element
Input
Output
to user
Generalized performance characteristics of instruments
To make intelligent decisions, there must be some quantitative basis for
comparing one instrument with the possible alternatives. The treatment of instrument
performance characteristics generally has been broken down into the sub-areas of static
characteristics and dynamic characteristics.
Some applications involve the measurement of quantities that are constant or vary
quite slowly. Under these conditions, it is possible to define a set of performance criteria
that give a meaningful description of the quality of measurement without becoming
concerned with dynamic descriptions. These criteria are called the static characteristics.
Many other measurement problems involve rapidly varying quantities. Here the dynamic
relations between the instrument input and output must be examined generally by the use
of differential equations. Performance criteria based on these dynamic relations
constitute the Dynamic characteristics.
Actually, static characteristics also influence the quality of measurement under
dynamic conditions, but the static characteristics generally show up non linear or
statistical effects in the otherwise linear differential equations giving the dynamic
characteristics. These effects would make the differential equations unmanageable, and
so the conventional approach is to treat the two aspects of the problem separately. These
phenomena are more conveniently studied as static characteristics, and the overall
performance of an instrument is then judged by a semi quantitative superposition of the
static and dynamic characteristics. This approach is , of course, approximate but a
necessary expedient.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS.
All the static performance characteristics are obtained by one form or another of a
process called static calibration.
Static Calibration
In general, static calibration refers to a situation in which all inputs (desire,
interfering, modifying) except one are kept at some constant values. Then the one input
under study is varied over some range of constant values, which causes the outputs to
vary over some range of constant values. The input output relations developed in this
way comprise a static calibration valid under the stated constant conditions of all the
other inputs. This procedure may be repeated, by varying in turn each input considered
to be of interest and thus developing a family of input output relations. The statement
all other inputs are held constant refers to an ideal situation which can be only
approached, but never reached in practice. Measurement method describes the ideal
situation while measurement process describes the (imperfect) physical realization of the
measurement method.
In performing a calibration, the following steps are necessary
(i) Examine the construction of the instrument, and identify and list all the
possible inputs
(ii) Decide, as best you can, which of the inputs will be significant in the
application for which the instrument is to be calibrated
(iii) Procure apparatus that will allow you to vary all significant inputs over the
ranges considered necessary.
(iv) By holding some inputs constant, varying others, and recording the output
develop the desired static input output relations.
The characteristics may be identified or classified as either general or special.
General static characteristics are of interest in only a particular instrument. We
concentrate mainly on general characteristics.
The definitions are brief descriptions of the various static performance parameters
of the instruments are as follows
Accuracy
Accuracy of a measuring system is defined as the closeness of the instrument
output to the true value of the measured quantity (as per standard). By True value we
mean the average value of an infinite number of measured values when the average
deviation tends to zero. Accuracy of the instrument mainly depends on the inherent
limitations of the instruments as well as on the shortcomings in the measurement process.
The accuracy of the instruments can be specified in either of the following forms
1. Percentage of true value = Measured value True value x 100
True value
2. Percentage of full scale deflection = Measured value True value x 100
Maximum scale value
However specification of the % of full scale deflection is less accurate that the % of true
value. Accuracy depends upon various systematic errors involved in the measurement
process.
Precision
It is defined as the ability of the instrument to reproduce a certain set of readings
within a given accuracy ie a measure of reproducibility of the measurements.
Reproducibility is the degree of closeness with which a given value may be repeatedly
measured. Thus, a highly precise instrument is the one that gives the same output
information, for a given input information when the reading is repeated a large number of
times. The precision of the instrument depends on the factors that cause random or
accidental errors. It is instructive to note that a precise measurement may not necessarily
be accurate and vice versa. To illustrate this statement, we take the example of a person
doing shooting practice.
Precision is always expressed in terms of the deviation in measurement
S.no Accuracy Precision
1. Accuracy refers to the conformity to
true value of quantity under
measurement
Precision refers to amount of
agreement between various readings
taken of some physical quantity under
reference conditions
2. Accuracy gives the maximum errors ie
maximum departure of the final result
from its true value.
Precision of a measuring system gives
its capability to reproduce a certain
reading with a given accuracy
3. Accuracy depends on the various
systematic errors involved in
measurement process
Precision of the instrument depends on
the factors that cause random or
accidental errors
4. Accuracy is determined by proper
calibration of the instrument
Precision is determined by statistical
analysis
Resolution or Discrimination
Resolution means, the smallest change in the input signal that can be detected by
the instrument. When input to instrument is increased from some non zero arbitrary
value, the change in output is not detected at all until a certain input increment is
exceeded, this increment is called resolution. Meters with high resolution react readily
for changes and are therefore sensitive. Resolution is expressed as a fraction or % of full
scale.
Threshold
It is particular case of resolution. It is defined as the minimum value of input
below which no output can be detected, ie the minimum value of the input is known as
Threshold. This phenomenon is due to input hysteresis. However threshold also depends
on the output sensing device and the observer.
Hysteresis.
Hysteresis is a phenomenon which depicts different output effects when loading
and unloading in any system. This is defined as the algebric difference between the
average errors at corresponding points of measurement when approached from opposite
directions. It arises due to fact that all the energy put into the stressed parts when loading
is not recoverable upon loading. This effect can be minimized by taking reading
corresponding to ascending and descending values of eth input and then taking their
arithmetic average.
Linearity
Linearity is a measure of the departure of the various points on the calibration
curve from the straight line fitted into those points by the method of least squares. It is
defined as the maximum deviation of any calibration point from reference straight line.
Manufacturers of instruments always attempt to design their instruments so that the
output is a linear function of the input. In most commercial instruments, linearity is
generally implied. In such cases, linearity specifications are equivalent to accuracy
specifications.
Drift.
Drift means that with given input the measured value do not vary with time. An
instrument is said to have no drift if it reproduces same readings at different times for
same variation in measured value (i.e) perfect reproducibility means that the instrument
has not drift. Drift may be classified as
(i) Zero Drift: If entire calibration shifts due to slippage, permanent set or due to
unwarming up, zero drift occurs
(ii) Span Drift: If there is proportional change in indication all along the upward
scale, the drift is called sensitivity or span drift
(iii) Zonal Drift: If the drift occurs only over a portion of span of instrument, it is
called zonal drift.
unloading
loading
Idealised
straight
line
Actual
calibration
curve
Normal
charac.
With zero
drift
With
span drift
Normal
charac.
X axis = Input
Y axis = output
Dead zone
It is defined as the largest change of input quantity for which there is no output of
the instrument. The factors which produce dead zone are friction, backlash, hysteresis.
Dead Time
It is defined as the time required by the measurement system to begin to respond
to the change in the measurand. Dead time, infact is the time before the instrument
begins to respond after the measured quantity has been changed.
Static Sensitivity
Static sensitivity (also termed as scale factor or gain) of the instrument is
determined from the results of static calibration. This static characteristic is defined as
the ratio of the magnitude of response (output signal) to the magnitude of quantity being
measured (input signal).
Static Sensitivity K = Change in output signal = q
o

Change in input signal q
i
In other words static sensitivity is represented by the slope of the input output curve if
the ordinates are represented in actual units. It may be noted that in certain applications
the reciprocal of the sensitivity is commonly used. This is termed as inverse sensitivity
or deflection factor
Time
Measured quantity
Output Input
Dead time
Dead zone
Input
Output
q
o
q
i
Sensitivity Linear case Dead zone and Dead time
DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS
Invariably measurement systems, especially in industrial aerospace and biological
applications are subjected to inputs which are not static but are dynamic in nature (ie) the
inputs that vary with time. When dynamic or time varying are to be measured, it is
necessary to find the dynamic response characteristics of the instrument being used for
measurement. The dynamic inputs to an instrument may be of the following types.
i) Periodic inputs : Varying cyclically with time or repeating itself after a constant
interval. The input may be harmonic or non harmonic type
ii) Transient input : Varying non cyclically with time. The signal is of a definite
duration and becomes zero after a certain period of time.
iii) Random input : Varying randomly with time, with no definite period and
amplitude. This may be continuous but not cyclic.
All measurement systems include one or more energy storage elements. When an input
is applied to a system, the energy storage elements do not allow an immediate flow of
energy and therefore the measurement system does not respond to the input immediately.
The measurement system goes through a transient state before it finally settles to its
steady state position. The transient response if defined as the part of response which goes
to zero as time becomes large. Some measurements are made under conditions that
sufficient time is available for the measurement system to settle to its final steady state
conditions. Under such conditions, the study of behavior of the system under transient
state is not of much important. Only steady state response of the system is considered.
The steady state response of the system is its response when time tends to infinity. But in
some cases for example, suppose a body is subjected to a sudden severe mechanical
impact lasting for a few milliseconds. The body is accelerated and the transient response
is of utmost importance.
The measurement systems, when subjected to periodically varying inputs exhibit
in their response a magnitude and phase relationship which is different from that of input
signal because of the energy storage elements. The output is not faith-full representation
of the input. The dynamic characteristics of the measurement lag are
1) Speed of response
2) Fidelity
3) Measuring lag
4) Dynamic error
Periodic signal Random signal Transient signal
1) Speed of response
It is defined as the rapidity with which a measurement system responds to
changes in measured quantity.
2) Measuring lag
It refers to the retardation or delay in the response of a measurement system to
changes in the measured quantity. The measuring lag are of two types
(a) Retardation type
In this type, the response of an instrument begins immediately after
a change in measured quantity has occurred
(b) Time delay type
In this type, the response of an instrument begins after a dead time,
after the application of the input. Measuring lag of this type are very
small and in order of fraction of seconds only, so it can be ignored.
3) Fidelity
It is defined as the degree of closeness with which the system indicates or
records the changes in the measured quantity without any dynamic error. In other
words, fidelity is the ability of the system to reproduce the output in the same
form as input.
4) Dynamic error
It is defined as the difference between the true value of the measuring
quantity changing with time and the value indicated by the measuring system if
no static error is assumed i.e static error is zero. It is also known as measurement
error.
Dynamic Analysis of instruments
The dynamic characteristics of an instrument refers to the performance of the
instrument when it is subjected to time varying input. For studying the dynamic
characteristics of an instrument or the combination of instrument, it is necessary to
represent each instrument by its mathematical model, from which the governing relation
between its input and output is obtained. Then the dynamic characteristics can be
determined experimentally with a known dynamic input signal. In many other areas of
engineering application, the most widely useful mathematical model for the study of
measurement system is the ordinary linear differential equation with constant co
efficient. Thus, the following steps are essential for understanding the dynamic
behaviour of an instrument.
a) To formulate its governing equations, relating dynamic input and output signals
b) To obtain the dynamic output response, for the given input, by solution of the
governing equations
c) In case the output response is not satisfactory, it may be possible to improve the
same by what is known as compensation.
We assume that the relation between any particular input (desired, interfering &
modifying) and the output can, by application of suitable simple assumptions, be put in
the form
i o
i
m
i
m
m
m
i
m
m o o
o
n
o
n
n
n
o
n
n
q b
dt
dq
b
dt
q d
b
dt
q d
b q a
dt
dq
a
dt
q d
a
dt
q d
a + + + + + + + +

...... ......
1
1
1
1
1
1
The order of the instrument is the highest derivative of the above differential equation
which describes the dynamic behaviour of the instrument for a specified input.
Normally, the instruments are subjected to inputs which are random in nature. As it is
not possible to predict the random input, the following test inputs are used to determine
the dynamic behaviour of the instruments: step input, ramp input, impulse input and
sinusoidal inputs.
ZERO ORDER INSTRUMENTS
The simplest possible special case of the above equation occurs when all the as
and bs except a
o
and b
o
are assumed to be zero. Then the equation becomes
i o o o
q b q a
i
o
o
o
q
a
b
q
or i o
kq q
where k = static sensitivity
Any instrument or system that closely obeys this equation over its intended range of
operating conditions is defined to be a zero order instrument. Since the equation q
o
= kq
i
is algebric, it is clear that, no matter how q
i
might vary with time, the instrument output
(reading) follows it perfectly with no distortion or time lag of any sort. Thus, the zero
order instrument represents ideal or perfect dynamic performance.
A practical example of a zero order instrument is the displacement measuring
potentiometer. Here a strip of resistance material is excited with a voltage and provided
with a sliding contact. If the resistance is distributed linearly along length L, we may
write
i
i
o
e
L
x
e or i o
kx e

where
L
e
k
i
volts / inch
Ofcourse, the winding will have some inductance and capacitance (very low). But yet the
potentiometer is called as zero order instrument because
1) the inductance and capacitance can be made very very small by proper design.
2) The speed (frequencies) of motion to be measured are not high enough to make
the inductive and capacitive effects noticeable.
FIRST ORDER INSTRUMENTS
In the reference equation choosen, if all as and bs other than a
1
, a
o
and b
o
are
taken as zero, we get
i o o o
o
q b q a
dt
dq
a +
1
Any instrument that follows this equation is, by definition a first order system. Dividing
the equation by a
o
we get
i i
o
o
o
o
o
kq q
a
b
q
dt
dq
a
a
+
1
where K =
o
o
a
b
= static sensitivity
Taking laplace transform
( ) ( ) ( ) s KQ s Q s SQ
a
a
i o o
o
+
1
( ) ( ) ( ) s KQ s Q s
i o
+ 1
where
0
1
a
a

= time constant
Or
( )
( )
( ) s Q
s
K
s Q
i o
+

1
+

e
o
x
i
e
i
L
kq
i
Time
Time
q
o
Now by applying various inputs ie by substituting for
( ) s Q
i
, the corresponding
( ) s Q
0
is
evaluated
Step response of the First order instrument
A unit step input is defined by a signal which has a value equal to unity for t>0.
At t = 0, the value of signal is zero
i.e q
i
(t) = 1 t > 0
q
i
(t) = 0 t = 0
Taking Laplace transform we get
( )
s
s Q
i
1

. Substituting this in general first order eqn.


( )
( ) s
B
s
A
s s
K
s Q
o
+
+
+

1
1
1
. Solving this we get A = 1 and B = . Therefore
( )

,
_

+
+
s
s
s Q
o
1
1
or
( )

t
o
e t q

1
It is observed that the instrument output reaches 63.2% of its final steady state value after
a time and the instrument takes theoretically infinite time to reach steady state value.
A dynamic characteristic useful in characterizing speed of response of any system is the
settling time and is defined as the time for the system to reach and stay within a t
tolerance band. A small settling time indicates fast response. In other words a large time
constant corresponds to slow system response and vive versa.
The dynamic or measurement error is defined as
( ) ( ) ( ) t q t q t e
o i m

( )

,
_

t
m
e t e 1 1
( )

t
m
e t e

= transient error which dies out as t . The steady state error is


( ) 0



t
Lim
t m
Lim
t ss
e t e e
. Thus the first order system tracks the unit step input
with zero static error.
Ramp response of a first order system
A unit ramp input is defined by a signal which changes at a constant rate with
respect to time like constant velocity
i.e
( )
( ) 0 0
0
<
>
t t q
t t t q
i
i
Taking Laplace Transform

time
1
q
i
t

1
0.63
T
Time

time

q
i
t
( )
2
1
S
S Q
i

Substituting this in general equation
( )
( )
2
1
1
1
S S
S Q
i
+

when K = 1
( )
( ) S
C
S
B
S
A
S Q
i
+
+ +
1
2
Solving we get
A = , B = 1, C =
2
There fore

( )
( ) S S S
S Q
i


+
+ +
1
1
2
2
( )

,
_

+
+ +
S
S S
S Q
i
1
1
2
2
( )

,
_

+
+ +
S
S S
S Q
i


1
1
2
Or
( )


t
o
e t t q

+

( )

,
_

t
o
e t t q 1
The dynamic response of this is as shown
The dynamic error is
( ) ( )

,
_

t
o i mD
e t t
t q t q e
1

,
_

t
e 1
The steady state error is

) ( ) (
0
t e t e
mD
Lt
t SS
In other words dynamic error has two parts

Steady state error which is independent of time and persists forever

t
e

Transient error which will gradually disapper as time goes by


In steady state, the horizontal displacement between input and output curve is seen to be
and so we make the interpretation that the instrument is reading what the input was
seconds ago i.e the first order system will track the unit ramp input with a steady state
error which is equal to the time constant of the system

time

q
i
t
q
o
t
q
o
t
q
i
t
Impulse Response of first order system
A unit impulse is defined as a signal which is zero value everywhere except at t =
0 where the magnitude is finite
i.e
( )
( ) 0 1
0


as dt t q
t t t q
i
i
Taking laplace transform we get
Q
i
(S)=1
Substituting this in the general equation of first order system
( )
( )

,
_

S
S
S Q
o

1
1
1
1
Therefore
( )

t
o
e t q

Example
As an example of a first order instrument, let us consider a liquid(mercury) in glass
thermometer. The input quantity here is the temperature T
i
(t) of the fluid surrounding the
bulb of the thermometer and the output is displacement
o
of the thermometer fluid in the
capillary tube. The principle of operation of such a thermometer is the thermal expansion
of the filling fluid which drives the liquid column up and down in response to
temperature changes since this liquid column has inertia, mechanical lag will be involved
in moving the fluid from one level to another level. However, this is negligible when
compared to the thermal lag involved in transferring heat from the surrounding fluid
through the bulb wall into the thermometer fluid. Hence we can say the first order tracks
the input with a time lag.

time

q
i
t
1/

time
1/
q
i
t
q
o
t
SECOND ORDER INSTRUMENTS
A second order instrument is one that follows the equation
i o o o
o o
q b q a
dt
dq
a
dt
q d
a + +
1
2
2
2
Dividing whole equation by a
o
and taking laplace transform we get
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) s KQ s Q s SQ
a
a
s Q S
a
a
i o o
o
o
o
+ +
1 2 2
( )
( )
1
1 2 2
+ +

S
a
a
S
a
a
K
s Q
s Q
o o
i
o
( )
( )
1
2
2
0
2
2 0
1
2
2
+
1
1
]
1

S
a
a
a a
a
a
a
S
K
s Q
s Q
o
i
o
( )
( )
1
2
2
2
+ +

S
S
K
s Q
s Q
n n
i
o

Or
( )
( )
2 2
2
2
n n
n
i
o
S S s Q
s Q

+ +

Where
io Dampingrat
a a
b
requency natural undamped
b
a
itivity Staticsens
a
b
K
o
o
o
n
o
o
2
2
2

The characteristic equation is given by


2 2
2
n n
S S + +
Step response of second order instrument
Substituting
( )
S
s Q
i
1

we get
( )
2 2
2
2
1
n n
n
o
S S S
s Q

+ +

The response is of three types depending upon the location of poles (ie) roots of
characteristic equation. The three different cases are
(i) Over damped system > 1
If the > 1, the roots of the characteristic equation are real and unequal.
An over damped system responds to any time varying input in a slugging manner
with out any oscillation about the final steady state position as shown.
(ii) Critically damped system = 1
If = 1, the roots are real and equal. The response of the system in this
case is rapid and the system reaches its final steady state condition smoothly
without oscillations as shown.
(iii) Under damped system < 1
If < 1, then the roots of characteristic equation are complex conjugate
pair. The under damped system follows the input with oscillations about its final
steady state position.

The speed of response is determined by the rise time which is the time taken to
rise from o to 90% of its final value. For a overdamped system, the rise time is very
large, for critically damped it is optimum where as for underdamped system, though rise
time is very low, the oscillations should be controlled in order that the response is
following the input. An increase in value of damping ratio reduces the oscillations
but slows the response.
n
is an indication of the speed of response since doubling its
value will reduce the time t to half its value for achieving a given output response.
Further the peak value of q
o
over and above the value of q
i
called peak overshoot should
compromise has to be made while choosing value of during design state in order to
achieve a reasonably fast response and small peak overshoot.
The second order system tracks step input without any error.
Ramp response of second order system.
Time Time Time
q
i
t
,

q
o
t
q
i
t
,

q
o
t
q
i
t
,

q
o
t
q
i
t
q
i
t q
i
t q
0
t
q
0
t
q
0
t
Over damped system
Critically damped system Under damped system
The response looks similar to that of first order instrument except the transient
portion. After transient error has vanished, the output lags the input by a time period
given by 2 /
n
The second order system tracks ramp input with steady state error = 2 T
Example
A good example of a second order instrument is the force measuring spring
scale. We assume the applied force q
i
has frequency components only well below the
natural frequency of the spring itself. Then the main dynamic effect of the spring may be
taken into account by adding one third of the springs mass to the main moving mass.
This total mass we call M. The spring is assumed linear with spring constant K
Newtons / meter. Assuming perfect film lubrication, a viscous damping effect is
accounted as constant B ( Newton / meter / second ). The scale can be adjusted so that qo
= 0 when qi = 0 (i.e force input = 0 )
force = (mass)(acceleration)
ERRORS IN MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS
No measurement can be made with perfect accuracy and there is always some
difference between actual value or true value and the observed vale. This difference is
called as error. It is necessary to reduce this error. Therefore, it is instructive to know
the various types of errors and the uncertainties that are in general, associated with
measurement system. Further, it is also important to know how those errors are
propagated.
This is because if an error is detected, then it can be eliminated or its effects can be
accounted for in the form of suitable correction. On the other hand if an error goes
unrecognized then it would make experimental data ureliable.
Types of errors
Time
q
i
t
q
o
t
2
The different types of errors can be broadly classified ad follows.
a) systematic or cumulative errors
b) accidental or random errors
c) miscellaneous type of gross errors
Systematic or cumulative errors
Such errors are those that tend to have the same magnitude and sign for a given set of
conditions. Because the algebric sign is the same, they tend to accumulate and hence are
known as cumulative errors. This error is also called as instrument bias. These types of
errors are caused due to following
a) Instrument errors
Certain error are inherent in instrument systems. These error arise due to three
main reasons.
i) Due to inherent short comings of instruments
This error may be due to
Poor Design / construction of the instruments
Errors in divisions of graduated scales / calibrations
Due to inequality of the balance arms / irregular spring constant
ii) Misuse of instruments
Errors caused in measurements due to the fault of the operator
Failure to adjust the zero of instruments / poor initial adjustments
Using leads of too high resistance
Using the instruments contrary to manufacturers instructions
iii) Loading effects
Such errors are caused by the act of measurement on the physical system.
Common occurrences are
Introduction of additional resistance by measuring ammeter which
may alter the circuit current
Introduction of a thermometer alters the thermal capacity there by
changes the original state
Elimination
1) By selecting a suitable instrument for a given application
2) Applying suitable correction after determining the amount of instrument error
3) Calibrating the instrument against a suitable standard
b) Environmental errors
These type of errors are caused due to variation of conditions external to the
measuring device, including the conditions in the area surrounding the instrument.
These may be effects of temperature, pressure, humidity, dust, windforces,
magnetic or electrostatic fields.
Elimination
1) Conditions should be kept constant as nearly as possible
2) Using equipment which is immune to these effects
3) Employing techniques which eliminate the effects of these disturbances /
applying computed corrections
4) Proper shields may be provided
c) Observational errors
There are many sources of observational errors. An error on account of
Parallax will be incurred unless the line of vision of the observer is exactly
above the pointer. There are observational errors in measurement involving
timing of an event especially when sound and light measurements are involved
since no two observers possess the same physical response.
Elimination
1) Parallax error is eliminated by having the pointer and the scale in the same
plane
2) Digital display of output eliminates the errors on account of observational or
sensing powers
Accidental or Random errors
These errors are caused due to random variations in the parameter or the system
of measurement. Such errors vary in magnitude and may be either positive or negative.
The main contributing factors to random error are
Inconsistencies associated with accurate measurement of small
quantities
Presence of certain system defects such as large dimensional
tolerance / friction
Effect of randomly variable parameters
Some happenings or disturbances which we are unaware are lumped
together
This error cannot be eliminated as such
Miscellaneous type of Gross Errors
There are certain errors that cannot be strictly classified as either systematic or
random as they are partly systematic and partly random. Therefore, such errors are
termed miscellaneous type of gross errors. This class of errors is mainly callused by the
following
Personal or human errors ie due to oversight / transpose the reading
Errors due to faulty components / adjustments like misalignment of
moving parts, electrical leakage etc.
Improper application of the instrument like extreme vibration,
mechanical shock, electrical noise.
Elimination
1) Great care should be taken in reading and recording data
2) Three or more readings should be taken for quantity under measurement
Statistical analysis of Measured data and errors
As seen from the above discussion, the systematic errors and the gross errors are removed
where as there remain random errors in the final result. There is no information available
on any of the disturbing factors. The outcome of certain measurement (With random
errors) may be predicted by statistical analysis. For this, a large number of measurements
are usually used. The collection of measured data is called the sample data. This
experimental data is obtained in two form of tests:
(i) Multi-sample test : - In this test, repeated measurement of a given quantity are done
using different conditions such as different instruments, different ways of measurement
and by employing different observers.
(ii) Single-sample test :- A single measurement (or successive measurement ) done
under identical conditions excepting for time.
Many of data may repeat a number of time.
The number of repetition of a datum is
called its frequency. The sample data may
be represented by a graph known as
Histogram or Frequency distribution curve
with more and more data taken at smaller
and smaller increments the histogram would
finally change into a smooth curve, as
indicated by the dashed line. The smooth
curve is symmetrical with respect to the
central value. For statistical analysis we
calculate some numbers known as statistical
descriptors. The simplest of the descriptors
is the arithmetic mean of the data
Arithmetic Mean
The arithmetic mean of a number of readings gives the most probable value of the
measured variable. The result will be closed to the actual value if the number of readings
is very large. Ideally an infinite number of reading would give the true value. However
in practice, only a finite but a large number of measurements can be taken. If x
1
,x
2
,x
3
x
n
are n readings, n being large, the arithmetic mean x is given by
n
x x x x
x
n
+ + + +

......
3 2 1
or
n
x
x
n
i
i

1

Quantity under measurement
N
o
.

o
f

o
b
s
e
r
v
e
d

r
e
a
d
i
n
g

Mostly sample data are given in the form of the frequency is number of time same
reading is measured say value
1
x is measured
1
f times,
2
x is measured
2
f times as so
on, for this frequency table of reading, the arithmetic mean is given as follows
n
n n
f f f
f x f x f x f x
x
+ + +
+ + + +

.......
......
2 1
3 3 2 2 1 1
or

n
i i
i i
f
f x
x
1
Deviation
The deviation of a reading from the mean value is a measure of error in the
reading (i.e) Deviation is defined as the departure of the observed reading from the
arithmetic mean of the group of the reading. Let the deviation of reading
1
x be d
1
and
that of reading
2
x be d
2
then
x x d
1 1
x x d
2 2
and so on
Algebric sum of deviation = d
1
+d
2
+..d
n
= ( x x
1
)+( x x
2
)+..(
x x
n

)
= (x
1
+x
2
+..x
n
)-n x
= 0
Average Deviation
The average deviation is an indication of the accuracy and precision of the
instrument. A precise instrument will yield a low average deviation. It is defined as the
average of the absolute values of the deviations of the readings.

+ + + +

n
i
i
n
n
d
d
n
d d d d
d
1
3 2 1
.......
Standard deviation
The root mean square (r.m.s) deviation, in the statistical analysis is known as
standard deviation
n
d
n
d d d
n
i
i
n

+ + +

1
2
2 2
2
2
1
.....

Where n is very large and definitely greater than 20


Variance
The variance(V) is defined as the mean square deviation and is the square of
standard deviation
n
d
n
d d d
V
n
i
i
n

+ + +

1
2
2 2
2
2
1 2
.....

Probable error
Consider two points r and +r so located that the area bounded by the curve, the x axis
and the ordinates erected at x = r and x = +r is equal to half of the total area under the
curve. That is half of deviations lie between x = r
A convenient measure of precision is the quantity r. It is called Probable error. In
terms of it is represented as
r = 0.6745
Specifying measurement data
After carrying out statistical analysis of multi sample data, the results of
measurements must be specified. The results are expressed as deviations about a mean
value. The deviations are expressed as
(i) Standard deviation
The result is expressed as t X . The error limit in this case is the standard
deviation. This means that 0.6828(about 68%) of the readings are within limits = 1
approximately.
(ii) Probable error
The results is expressed as 6745 . 0 t X i.e r X t . This means that 50% of the
readings lie within limits.
(iii) 2 limit.
The result is expressed as 2 t X . In this case the probability range is increased
i.e about 95% of readings fall within limit.
(iv) 3 limit.
The result is expressed as 3 t X . In this case the probability range is increased
more i.e about 99% of readings fall within limit.
Limiting errors.
Manufacturers specify the deviations from the nominal value of a particular quantity. The
limits of these deviations from the specified value are defined as limiting errors. Relative
limiting error is defined as the ratio of the error to the specified magnitude of a quantity.
1. A moving coil voltmeter has a uniform scale with 100 divisions and gives full scale
reading of 200V. The instrument can read upto 1/5
th
of a scale division with fair degree
of certainity. Determine the resolution of instrument in volt
Major division = 200 / 100 = 2V
Each major division has 5 small division
Therefore resolution = 2/5 = 0.4V
2. The dead space in a certain pyrometer is 0.12% of span. The calibration is 500C to
1250 C. Determine the temperature change that might occur before it is detected.
Span = 1250 500 = 750
Dead space = 0.12 * 750 = 0.9 C
3. Given the following set of voltage measurements taken from the voltmeter, find their
(i) average value, (ii) average deviation, (iii) standard deviation, (iv) probable error, (v)
probable error of mean
Quantity deviation deviation
2
153 4.6 21.16
162 -4.4 19.36
157 0.6 0.36
161 -3.4 11.56
155 2.6 6.76
Av 157.6 3.12 59.2
Therefore Arithmetic mean = 157.6
Average deviation = 3.12
Standard deviation = sqrt (59.2 / 5 1 ) = 3.847
Probable error r = 0.6745 S.D = 2.595
Probable error of mean= r / sqrt(5 1) = 1.297
4. During a test run, measurement of weight were made 100 times with variation in
apparatus and procedure. After applying corrections for known systematic errors, the
following data were obtained
Weight (kg) 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405
Frequency 1 3 12 23 37 16 4 2 2
Calculate: (i) Arithmetic mean, (ii) Mean deviation (iii) Standard deviation (iv)
probable error of one reading (v) probable error of mean
T f T * f d [d] d * f d2 d2*f
397 1 397 -3.78 3.78 3.78
14.28
84
14.28
84
398 3 1194 -2.78 2.78 8.34
7.728
4
23.18
52
399 12 4788 -1.78 1.78 21.36
3.168
4
38.02
08
400 23 9200 -0.78 0.78 17.94
0.608
4
13.99
32
401 37 14837 0.22 0.22 8.14 0.048 1.790
4 8
402 16 6432 1.22 1.22 19.52
1.488
4
23.81
44
403 4 1612 2.22 2.22 8.88
4.928
4
19.71
36
404 2 808 3.22 3.22 6.44
10.36
84
20.73
68
405 2 810 4.22 4.22 8.44
17.80
84
35.61
68
40078
102.8
4
191.1
6
Avera
ge =
400.7
8
1.028
4
Mean deviation
= 1.0284
Standard
deviation =
1.3826
06
Probable error of one
reading=
0.9325
68
Probable error of mean=
0.0932
57