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Characteristics of

Transducer
Basic components in a measurement system

Basic components in a measurement system are shown below:

Amplification and Conditioning

It is also important to mention that a power supply is an


important element for the entire system.
INSTRUMENTATION CHARACTERISTICS

Shows the performance of instruments to be


used.
Divided into two categories: static and
dynamic characteristics.
Static characteristics refer to the
comparison between steady output and ideal
output when the input is constant.
Dynamic characteristics refer to the
comparison between instrument output and
ideal output when the input changes.
Static Performance of Instrument

SYSTEMATIC CHARACTERISTICS
Range
Span
Linearity
Sensitivity
Environmental effects
Hysteresis
Resolution
Death space
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

1. ACCURACY

Accuracy is the ability of an


instrument to show the exact reading.
Always related to the extent of the
wrong reading/non accuracy.
Normally shown in percentage of
error which of the full scale reading
percentage.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

Example :
A pressure gauge with a range between
0-1 bar with an accuracy of 5% fs
(full-scale) has a maximum error of:
5 x 1 bar = 0.05 bar
100
Notes: It is essential to choose an
equipment which has a suitable operating
range.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

Example :
A pressure gauge with a range between
0 - 10 bar is found to have an error of
0.15 bar when calibrated by the
manufacturer.
Calculate :
a. The error percentage of the gauge.
b. The error percentage when the
reading obtained is 2.0 bar.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

Answer :
a. Error Percentage = 0.15 bar x 100 = 1.5%
10.0 bar
b. Error Percentage = 0.15 bar x 100 = 7.5 %
2.0 bar

The gauge is not suitable for use for low range


reading.
Alternative : use gauge with a suitable range.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS
Example :
Two pressure gauges (pressure gauge A and B) have a
full scale accuracy of 5%. Sensor A has a range of
0-1 bar and Sensor B 0-10 bar. Which gauge is more
suitable to be used if the reading is 0.9 bar?

Answer :
Sensor A :
Equipment max error = 5 x 1 bar = 0.05 bar
100
Equipment accuracy
@ 0.9 bar ( in %) = 0.05 bar x 100 = 5.6%
0.9 bar
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

Sensor B :
Equipment max error = 5 x 10 bar = 0.5 bar
100
Equipment accuracy
@ 0.9 bar ( in %) = 0.5 bar x 100 = 55%
0.9 bar
Conclusion :
Sensor A is more suitable to use at a reading of 0.9 bar
because the error percentage ( 5.6%) is smaller compared
to the percentage error of Sensor B ( 55%).
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

2. PRECISION

An equipment which is precise is not


necessarily accurate.
Defined as the capability of an
instrument to show the same reading
when used each time (reproducibility of
the instrument).
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

Example : XXX
XXX
X : result
Centre circle : true value

Low accuracy, high precision


XXX
XXXX
XXX
X X

High accuracy, high precision x x

Low accuracy, low precision


Accuracy vs Precision

High Precision, but low


accuracy.

There is a systematic error.


Accuracy vs Precision (Cont)

High accuracy means that the mean is close to the true value, while high
precision means that the standard deviation is small.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

3. TOLERANCE

Closely related to accuracy of an


equipment where the accuracy of an
equipment is sometimes referred to in
the form of tolerance limit.
Defined as the maximum error
expected in an instrument.
Explains the maximum deviation of an
output component at a certain value.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

4. RANGE OF SPAN

Defined as the range of reading between


minimum value and maximum value for
the measurement of an instrument.
Has a positive value e.g..:
The range of span of an instrument
which has a reading range of 100C to
100 C is 200 C.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS
5. BIAS

Constant error which occurs during the


measurement of an instrument.
This error is usually rectified through calibration.
Example :
A weighing scale always gives a bias reading. This
equipment always gives a reading of 1 kg even
without any load applied. Therefore, if A with a
weight of 70 kg weighs himself, the given reading
would be 71 kg. This would indicate that there is
a constant bias of 1 kg to be corrected.
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS
6. LINEARITY
Maximum deviation from linear relation between
input and output.
The output of an instrument has to be linearly
proportionate to the measured quantity.
Normally shown in the form of full scale percentage
(% fs).
The graph shows the output reading of an
instrument when a few input readings are entered.
Linearity = maximum deviation from the reading of
x and the straight line.
Linearity

Output
Readings

Measured Quantity
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

7. SENSIVITY
Defined as the ratio of change in output towards
the change in input at a steady state condition.
Sensitivity (K) =
i
: change in output; i : change in input
Example 1:
The resistance value of a Platinum Resistance
Thermometer changes when the temperature
increases. Therefore, the unit of sensitivity for
this equipment is Ohm/C.
Sensitivity

Most sensitive

Variation of the physical variables


STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

Example 2:
Pressure sensor A with a value of 2 bar
caused a deviation of 10 degrees.
Therefore, the sensitivity of the
equipment is 5 degrees/bar.
Sensitivity of the whole system is (k) =
k1 x k2 x k3 x .. x kn

i k1 k2 k3 o
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS
Example:
Consider a measuring system consisting of a transducer, amplifier
and a recorder, with sensitivity for each equipment given below:
Transducer sensitivity 0.2 mV/C
Amplifier gain 2.0 V/mV
Recorder sensitivity 5.0 mV/V

Therefore,
Sensitivity of the whole system:
(k) = k1 x k2 x k3
k = 0.2 mV x 2.0 V x 5.0 mV
C mV V
k = 2.0 mV/C
Example :
The output of a platinum resistance thermometer
(RTD) is as follows:

Input(C) Output(Ohm)

0 0
100 200
200 400
300 600
400 800

Calculate the sensitivity of the equipment.


Answer :
Draw an input versus output graph. From that graph,
the sensitivity is the slope of the graph.
K = graph = (400-200) ohm = 2 ohm/C
i slope (200-100) C
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS
8. DEAD SPACE / DEAD BAND

Output
Reading

- +

Measured
Variables

Dead Space

Defined as the range of input reading when there


is no change in output (unresponsive system).
STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

9. RESOLUTION

The smallest change in input reading


that can be traced accurately.
Given in the form % of full scale
(% fs).
Available in digital instrumentation.
Resolution
This is defined as the smallest input
increment change that gives some small but
definite numerical change in the output.

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STATIC CHARACTERISTICS

10. THRESHOLD

When the reading of an input is


increased from zero, the input reading
will reach a certain value before
change occurs in the output.
The minimum limit of the input reading
is threshold.
Hysteresis and Backlash

Careful observation of the output/input relationship of a


block will sometimes reveal different results as the signals
vary in direction of the movement.
Mechanical systems will often show a small difference in
length as the direction of the applied force is reversed.
The same effect arises as a magnetic field is reversed in a
magnetic material.
This characteristic is called hysteresis
Where this is caused by a mechanism that gives a sharp
change, such as caused by the looseness of a joint in a
mechanical joint, it is easy to detect and is known as
backlash.
DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS

Explains the behaviour system of


instruments system when the input
signal is changed.
Depends on a few standard input
signals such as step input, ramp
input dan sine-wave input.
DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS

Step Input
Sudden change in input signal from steady
state.
The output signal for this kind of input is
known as transient response.
Input

Time
DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS

Ramp Input
The signal changes linearly.
The output signal for ramp input is
ramp response.

Input

Time
DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS

Sine-wave Input
The signal is harmonic.
The output signal is frequency response.

Input

Time
Response time

One would like to have a


measurement system with fast
response.

In other words, the effect of the


measurement system on the
measurement should be as small as
possible.
EXAMPLE OF DYNAMIC
CHARACTERISTICS
Response from a 2nd order instrument:
Output

100%

90%

10%
tr
Time
EXAMPLE OF DYNAMIC
CHARACTERISTICS

Response from a 2nd order instrument:


1. Rise Time ( tr )
Time taken for the output to rise from
10% to 90 % of the steady state value.
2. Settling time (ts)
Time taken for output to reach a steady
state value.
Sensor Performance Characteristics
Transfer Function:
The functional relationship between physical input signal and electrical output signal. Usually,
this relationship is represented as a graph showing the relationship between the input and output
signal, and the details of this relationship may constitute a complete description of the sensor
characteristics. For expensive sensors which are individually calibrated, this might take the form
of the certified calibration curve.
Sensitivity:
The sensitivity is defined in terms of the relationship between input physical signal and output
electrical signal. The sensitivity is generally the ratio between a small change in electrical signal
to a small change in physical signal. As such, it may be expressed as the derivative of the transfer
function with respect to physical signal. Typical units : Volts/Kelvin. A Thermometer would
have "high sensitivity" if a small temperature change resulted in a large voltage change.
Span or Dynamic Range:
The range of input physical signals which may be converted to electrical signals by the sensor.
Signals outside of this range are expected to cause unacceptably large inaccuracy. This span or
dynamic range is usually specified by the sensor supplier as the range over which other
performance characteristics described in the data sheets are expected to apply.
Sensor Performance Characteristics
Accuracy:
Generally defined as the largest expected error between actual and ideal output signals. Typical
Units : Kelvin. Sometimes this is quoted as a fraction of the full scale output. For example, a
thermometer might be guaranteed accurate to within 5% of FSO (Full Scale Output)
Hysteresis:
Some sensors do not return to the same output value when the input stimulus is cycled up or
down. The width of the expected error in terms of the measured quantity is defined as the
hysteresis. Typical units : Kelvin or % of FSO
Nonlinearity (often called Linearity):
The maximum deviation from a linear transfer function over the specified dynamic range. There
are several measures of this error. The most common compares the actual transfer function with
the `best straight line', which lies midway between the two parallel lines which encompasses the
entire transfer function over the specified dynamic range of the device. This choice of
comparison method is popular because it makes most sensors look the best.
Sensor Performance Characteristics
Noise:
All sensors produce some output noise in addition to the output signal. The noise of the sensor
limits the performance of the system based on the sensor. Noise is generally distributed across the
frequency spectrum. Many common noise sources produce a white noise distribution, which is to
say that the spectral noise density is the same at all frequencies. Since there is an inverse
relationship between the bandwidth and measurement time, it can be said that the noise decreases
with the square root of the measurement time.
Resolution:
The resolution of a sensor is defined as the minimum detectable signal fluctuation. Since
fluctuations are temporal phenomena, there is some relationship between the timescale for the
fluctuation and the minimum detectable amplitude. Therefore, the definition of resolution must
include some information about the nature of the measurement being carried out.
Bandwidth:
All sensors have finite response times to an instantaneous change in physical signal. In addition,
many sensors have decay times, which would represent the time after a step change in physical
signal for the sensor output to decay to its original value. The reciprocal of these times
correspond to the upper and lower cutoff frequencies, respectively. The bandwidth of a sensor is
the frequency range between these two frequencies.