Sensor Fundamentals

Publish Date: Mar 12, 2012 | 70 Ratings | 4.09 out of 5 |  PDF

Overview

As part of the National Instruments Measurement Fundamentals Series, this set of tutorials helps you learn about a specific common measurement application topic through theory explanations and practical examples.

What You Will Learn
Essential to any data acquisition is a transducer sensor that converts real-world phenomena, such as temperature and pressure, into measurable currents and voltages. This set of tutorials is designed to provide you with essential information about using and understanding various types of sensors to acquire data.

To view the complete list of in-depth measurement tutorials, please return to the Measurement Fundamentals Main Page

Table of Contents

  1. Sensor Terminology
  2. Taking Thermocouple Temperature Measurements
  3. Measuring Temperature with an RTD or Thermistor
  4. Measuring Strain with Strain Gages
  5. Measuring Pressure with Pressure Sensors
  6. Accelerometer Principles

1. Sensor Terminology

    

Sensors, like other areas of technology, have a specific terminology that you must understand before you can apply them properly. Learn some of the most common terms in this tutorial.

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2. Taking Thermocouple Temperature Measurements



Get an introduction to thermocouples, which are inexpensive sensing devices widely used with PC-based data acquisition systems. Also review some specific thermocouple examples and learn how thermocouples work and ways to integrate them into a data acquisition measurement system.


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3. Measuring Temperature with an RTD or Thermistor



  Explore resistive temperature detectors (RTDs) and thermistors, which are both electrical resistors with resistance that changes with temperature. In this tutorial, learn more about RTDs and thermistors as well as how to integrate them into a data acquisition measurement system.

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4. Measuring Strain with Strain Gages



Become familiar with the basics of strain gages, which are commonly used to measure the deformation of a body due to an applied force. Learn more about strain itself, how strain gages work, and how to accurately measure strain with a strain gage.

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5. Measuring Pressure with Pressure Sensors



Review pressure measurement basics. Pressure is defined as the force per unit area that a fluid exerts on its surroundings, and pressure sensors measure this force. Learn more about pressure itself, the different types of pressure sensors, how pressure sensors work, and how to integrate a pressure into a measurement system.

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6. Accelerometer Principles



   Explore the several physical processes that you can use to develop a sensor to measure acceleration. In applications that involve flight, such as aircraft and satellites, accelerometers are based on rotating mass properties. In the industrial world, however, the most common design is based on a combination of Newton's law of mass acceleration and Hooke's law of spring action.

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See the how-to guide for sound and vibration measurements >>

 

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