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ISAT 253
Instrumentation & Measurement
James Madison University
Spring 2005

Homework #13:

Electrical Signals, Sampling and Introduction to
A/D Converters
Sampling , Quantizing and A/D Converters (30 Points)

Part I - Sampling

Problem 1 (3 points)
You are planning to sample an electric signal that has a form
f(t) = 5 sin 10t + 3 cos 40t.
a. (1pt) What is the minimum sample rate that you must use? Answer: 40 Hz
b. (2pts) If you use a sample rate of f
= 30 samples per second, what alias
frequency(ies), if any, would you expect in the discrete data? Answer: Id have
only one alias frequency and that is
Hz 10 30 20 f
= =

Problem 2 (3 points)
The function f(t) = 3 cos 500t + 5 cos 800t is sampled at 400 samples per second.
What alias frequencies would you expect in the output?

Answers: (1pt and 2 pts)
signal.) dc : line (flat Hz 0 f and 150 400 250 f
a a
= = = Hz

Problem 3 (4 points)
Using Excel: Plot two periods of the function in problem 1 at time intervals
corresponding to 1/3, 2/3, 2 and 10 times the Nyquist frequency. Comment on the results.
(hand in your plots and the calculation of your time intervals)

Part II - Quantizing Theory

Problem 4 (2 points)
Give a 12-bit A/D converter operating over a voltage range from -5V to 5V, how much
does the input voltage have to change, in general, in order to be detectable?

This is the analog quantization size:
(5 ( 5)) 10
2 4096
Q mV

= = =


Problem 5 (2 points)
A signals values have a range of 5V, and you wish to make measurements with an
analog quantization size of 5 mV. What resolution A/D converter is required to perform
this task? (NOTE: Give your answer in the required number of voltage output levels)

span span V
Q N levels
N Q mV
= = = =
Comment: Resolution is often stated in bits so we could write:
2 2
2 log ( ) log (2000) 11
N n N bits = = = , so I would probably have to get a
12-bit A/D converter to satisfy my needs since finding an 11-bit one would be

Part III - Analog to Digital Conversion

Problem 6 (3 points)
How much computer memory (in bytes) would be required to store 10 seconds of a
sensor signal sampled by a 12-bit A/D converter operating at a sampling rate of 5 kHz?
Answer: Each time we sample we need to code (store) it into 12-bits so the number
of bytes needed is calculated to be:
5000 10sec 12 75, 000
sec 8
samples bits byte
sample bits

Problem 7 (5 points)
You are thinking about purchasing a 16-bit A/D converter because of some very accurate
voltage measurements you need to perform. You want a resolution accuracy of less than
0.01%. The A/D converter you have in mind has a voltage input range of 0 to 5 V.
a. What is the resolution error due to quantization of this converter?
Answer: +/- the bin width which is +/-3.815 E-5
b. What is the quantization error, as a percent of reading, for an input of 1.36 V?
Answer: The answer to a., divided by 1.36. This is 2.8E-3%
c. Does this performance meet you need?
Answer: Yes, since it is less than our 0.01% accuracy requirement
Problem 8 (8 points)
Suppose you have an accelerometer with a sensitivity of 200 mV/g, with an output
voltage range of 0 to 5V. You wish to measure vibrations of the solar arrays on a satellite,
with a resolution of 0.1 g. Luckily you have an A/D converter with a range of 0 to 5V.

a) What is the required voltage resolution to be able to measure 0.1 g?
Answer: The sensitivity measures the output response to an input and is defined as:
( )
( )

We want our converter to be able to resolve an input of 0.1g (where

the acceleration of gravity is g=9.8 m/s
). If this is input into our accelerometer, the
output will be the required voltage resolution (analog quantization size) of our A/D
converter. So we have:
( ) (200 ) (0.1 ) 20 Q K input mV g g mV = = =

b) How many voltage levels or bins do you need to represent the full output voltage range
at the required resolution?

5 5
20 250
Q mV N voltage levels
N mV
= = = =

c) How many bits are required in the A/D converter to accomplish this?

2 2
2 log ( ) log (250) 8
N n N bits = = =

Comment: we could have guessed this since 8 bits are required to store numbers up
to 255 which is close to 250.

d) What acceleration is represented by the LSB of the A/D converter you chose?

If we choose the 8-bit converter, then
Q mV = = and the minimum
acceleration we can measure is:
min 2 2
0.0975 (0.0975)(9.8 ) 0.9555
mV m m
a g
s s
= = = =

Note: The change of base relation for logarithms given below may be useful.

log =