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Measurement

Characteristics
Ulemj Damiran

Introduction

Measurement is the experimental process of


acquiring any quantitative information. When
doing a measurement, we compare the
measurable quantity measurand - with
another same type of quantity. This other
quantity is called measurement unit

Measurand a physical quantity, property, or


condition which is measured
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Measurements

Can be divided into direct or indirect measurements

Direct measurement measured quantity is registered


directly from the instruments display.
Measuring voltage vith voltmeter
Measuring length with ruler

Indirect measurement result is calculated (using formula)


from the values obtained from direct measurements
Finding work done by current:

U voltmeter
I ammeter
t clock
A=U*I*t
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Classification of physical
quantites

Can be divided for quantities which value

is determined uniquely and does not depend on the zero


level

can only be determined as a reference to some fixed


zero level

mass

potential energy (zero level can be ground floor or 3d


floor and result depends on that)
Time

but time interval and change in potential energy belong to the


upper class

Measurements main
equation

The value of the measured quantity can be


expressed as

Y y [Y ]

where [Y] is the measurement unit and y is


the number, which shows how many times the
measurable quantity differs from the unit
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What is instrument

Instrument is a device that transforms a physical


variable of interest (the measurand ) into a form
that is suitable for recording (the measurement)

An example is ruler

the measurand is the


length of some object
the measurement is the
number of units (meters,
inches, etc.) that
represent the length

In order for the measurement to have consistent meaning, it


is necessary to employ a standard system of units

Simple Instrument
Model
Physical
Measurement
Variable

Measurement

SENSOR

Measurand
X
Physical
Process

Signal
Variable

M
Display

The key functional element of the instrument model is the


sensor, which has the function of converting the physical
variable input into a signal variable output

Due to the property that signal variables can be manipulated


in a transmission system, such as an electrical or mechanical
circuit, they can be transmitted to a remote output or
recording device

In electrical circuits, voltage is a common signal variable


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Simple Instrument
Model
Common physical variables

Typical signal variables

Force

Voltage

Length

Current

Temperature

Displacement spring of newtonmeter

Acceleration

Light change in intensity

Velocity
Pressure
Frequency
Capacity
Resistance
Time

Simple Instrument
Model

If the signal from Sensor output is small, it is


needed to be amplified. In many cases it is also
necessary for the instrument to provide a digital
signal output for connection with a computerbased data acquisition systems.
Physical
Measurement
Variable

Measurand

Analog
Signal
Variable

AMPLIFIER

SENSOR
X

Physical
Process

Analog
Signal
Variable

Digital
Signal
Variable

A/D
Converter

Computer

Memory

Output

Sensors

Sensor - the part of a


measurement system
that responds directly
to the physical variable
being measured

Sensors can be
categorized into two
broad classes

Passive sensors

Active sensors
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Passive Sensors

Passive sensors do not add


energy as part of the
measurement process, but
may remove energy in their
operation, ie energy is
converted to measurable
quantity

One example of a passive


sensor is a thermocouple,
which converts a physical
temperature into a voltage
signal
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Active Sensors

Active sensors add energy to


the measurement
environment as part of the
measurement process

An example of an active
sensor is a radar or sonar,
where actively out-sended
radio (radar) or acoustic
(sonar) waves reflect off of
some object and thus
measures its range from the
sensor

Arecibo Observatory in Puerto


Rico
Besides being most powerful radio
telescopes and the largest single unit
telescope in the world, it is also a
radar probably the world biggest
active sensor though
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Sensor Fusion (uniting of


sensors)

Sensor fusion - in this case, two or more sensors are used to


observe the environment and their output signals are combined
in some manner (typically in a processor) to provide a single
enhanced measurement

Physical
Process

X1

Instrument
s
SENSOR
1

S1

X2

SENSOR
2

S2

X3

SENSOR
3

S3

SENSOR
FUSION

Examples:
1. Sensor output relation to the ambient temp is taken account
during the measurements
2. Image synthesis where radar, optical, and infrared images can be
combined into a single enhanced image
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Operational Modes of
Instrumentation I
(Null instrument)
Null Instrument - A
measuring device that
balances the measurand
against a known value,
thus achieving a null
condition. Two inputs are
essential to the null
instrument.

Null measurement devices usually consist of


1. automatic or manual feedback system that allows the comparison of
known standard value,
2. an iterative balancing operation using some type of comparator
3. and a null deflection at parity
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Null instrument

Advantages:
Minimizes measurement loading errors
(i.e. alter the value of the measured signal).
Effective when the measurand is a very
small value.
minimizes interaction between the
measuring system and the measurand, by
balancing the unknown input against a
known standard input
Achieving perfect parity (zero condition) is
limited only by the state of the art of the
circuit or scheme being employed

Disatvantages:
Slow - an iterative balancing operation
requires more time to execute than simply
measuring sensor input. Not suitable for
fast measurements i.e. only for static
measurements
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Null instrument example

An equal arm balance


scale with manual
balance feedback

Potetntiometer

AB is the potentiometer wire with resistance R1.


The EMF of a standard DC source is volts.
The rheostat resistance is R . If the null point
is obtained at point C, then the EMF of and 1
are equal
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Operational Modes of
Instrumentation II
(Deflection instrument)

Deflection instrument - a measuring device whose output


deflects (deviates) proportional to the magnitude of the measurand

Deflection instruments are the most common measuring


instruments

Advantages:
high dynamic response i.e. can be used for fast measurements
can be designed for either static or dynamic measurements or
both

Disadvantages:
by deriving its energy from the measurand, the act of
measurement will influence the measurand and change the
value of the variable being measured. This change is called a
loading error.

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Deflection isnstrument example

Spring scale as a deflection instrument. Scale has to be calibrated.

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Flow chart of a deflection


instrument
(e.g.multiplication of deflection
signal due to amplification )

The logic flow chart for a deflection instrument is straightforward

Examples of signal conditioning are to multiply


the deflection signal by some scaler magnitude,
such as in amplification or filtering, or to
transform the signal by some arithmetic function
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Analog and Digital


Sensors

Analog sensors - provide a signal that is


continuous in both its magnitude and its
temporal (time) or spatial (space) content

Digital sensors - provide a signal that is


a direct digital representation of the
measurand. Digital sensors are basically
binary (on or off ) devices. Essentially,
a digital signal exists at only discrete
values of time (or space)
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Analog sensor

The defining word for analog is continuous i.e.


if a sensor provides a continuous output signal
that is directly proportional to the input signal,
then it is analog

Thermocouple as an analog sensor

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Digital sensor

A common representation of digital signal is the


discrete sampled signal, which represents a
sensor output in a form that is discrete both in
time or space and in magnitude.
Data can be sent
either in serial or
parallel format

A rotating shaft with a revolution counter. Each revolution generates a


spike.
In this example, the continuous rotation of the shaft is analog but
the revolution count
is digital. The amplitude of the voltage spike is set to activate the
counter and is
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Analog Readout
Instruments

An analog readout
instrument provides an
output indication that is
continuous and directly
analogous to the behavior
of the measurand

For example

deflection of a pointer
or an ink trace on a
graduated scale

the intensity of a light


beam or a sound wave
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Digital Readout
Instruments

A digital readout instrument provides an output indication


that is discrete

Many digital devices combine features of an analog sensor


with a digital readout or, in general, convert an analog signal
to a discrete signal. In such situations, an analog to digital
converter (ADC) is required.

HP3458A digital multimeter, most widely used device in MRI

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E2
Z

Input Impedance

In the ideal case, the act of measurement


should not alter the value of the measured
signal. Any such alteration is a loading
error

Loading errors can be minimized by


impedance matching of the source with the
measuring instrument reduce the power
needed for measurement

The power loss through the measuring


instrument
where Z() is the input impedance of the
measuring instrument, and E(V) is the
source voltage potential being measured

To minimize the power loss, the input


impedance should be large

E
P
Z

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Input impedance connecting instruments

An equivalent circuit is formed by applying a


measuring instrument (device 2) to the output
terminals of an instrument (device 1).
The potential actually sensed by device 2 will be
1

E 2 E1

1 Z1 / Z 2

The difference between the actual potential E 1 and the


measured potential E2 is a loading error. High input
impedance Z2 relative to Z1 minimizes this error.

A general rule is for the input impedance to be at least 100


times the source impedance to reduce the loading error to 1%.
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Calibration

Calibration is the relationship


between the physical
measurement variable (input) and
the signal variable (output) for a
specific sensor

Calibration curve graph that


characterizes sensor or instrument
response to a physical input

Sensitivity of the device is


determined by the slope of the
calibration curve.

Dynamic range - the difference


between the smallest and largest
physical inputs that can reliably be
measured by an instrument

Saturation - increasing the


physical input value to the level
where there is no change in output
signal

dynamic rangeSaturation regio

Calibration curve example.

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Error types and sources


Systematic errors (bias)
measured values have
similar deviation from
correct value

Systematic
error
(bias)

Random
error
(precision)

Random errors (noise)


measured values
deviate randomly
around mean value.
Noise describes the
precison of
measurements
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Correct terms

Measurement is described by its discrimination , its


precision , and its accuracy

These are too often used interchangeably, but they


cover different concepts:

Discrimination - the smallest increment that can be


discerned. Term resolution is used as a synonym, but
according to the book", it is now officially decleared
as incorrect!
Precision - the spread of values obtained during the
measurements. Two terms that should be used here
are:

repeatability - variation for a set of measurements made


in a very short period
reproducibility same concept, but for measurements
made over a long period

Accuracy - is the closeness of a measurement to the


value defined to be the true value
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Discrimination, precision and


accuracythickness of the hole
Two sets of arrow
shots fired into a
target to
understand the
measurement
concepts of
discrimination,
precision, and
accuracy

decides the
discrimination
Better precision i.e.
better repeatability

Better
accuracy i.e.
Mean value
closer to
bullseye

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Systematic error sources

If measurements are made at


temperature other than the
sensor was calibrated it
introduces systematic error.
If systematic error source is
known, it can be corrected
for by the use of
compensation methods
Aging of the components will
change the sensor response
and hence the calibration
Damage or abuse of the
sensor can also change the
calibration

Invasiveness - the measurement


process itself changes the
intended measurand. This is
key concern in many
measurement problems.

Reading measurements by
human observer common
error source is parallax i.e.
reading dial from nonnormal angle

NB! Interaction between


measurand and
measurement device is
always present

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Invasivness - example

Reducing invasivness

to use high impedance


electronic devices to
measure voltage

Extreme invasiveness

large warm
thermometer to
measure the
temperature of a
small volume of cold
fluid

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Periodical calibration

In order to prevent
systematic errors, sensors
should be
periodically
recalibrated

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Random error sources


Environmenta
l Noise

Transmission
Noise
N3

Sensor
Noise
N2

N1

AMPLIFIER

SENSOR

Physical
Process

An example for N1 would be background


noise received by a microphone

An example of N2 would be thermal


noise within a sensitive transducer,
such as an infrared sensor

A common example of N3 is 50 Hz
interference from the electric power
grid

The noise will be amplified along


with the signal as it passes
through the amplifier

Noise is presented as signal to


noise ratio (SNR).

SNR(dB)=10*log(Psignal/Pnoise)

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Random noise

What if Psignal < Pnoise ?

If some identifying characteristics of that


signal are known and sufficient signal
processing power is available, then the
signal can be interpreted.

Example of such signal processing is the


human ability to hear a voice in a loud
noise environment
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Estimating the
measurement accuracy

Error is defined as the difference between the


measured value and the true value of the measurand

E =(measured) - (true)

where

E = the measurement error

(measured) = the value obtained by a measurement

(true) = the true value of the measurand

Error can almost not be ever known, becuse we dont


know the (true) value, error can only be estimated.

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What is uncertainty?

Uncertainty of measurement is a
parameter that describes the distribution
of the (thinkable) measured values

The word uncertainty expresses the


boubt to the exactness of the result of the
measurement

Measurement result is the measurement


value with its uncertainty
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Classification of
uncertainties

Standard uncertainty uncertainty of a measurement


expressed as a standard deviation

Standard uncertainty consists of many components which are


divided into two categories
type A uncertainty which is estimated using statistical
methods

type B uncertainty which is estimated using means other


than statistical analysis

uA(x), where x denotes the measured value for which the


uncertainty is given

uB(x)

uC u A2 u B2

Combined standard uncertainty U k u


C

Expanded
Where k is uncertainty
the coveragefactor, typically in range 2-3
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How to estimate
uncertainties?

f (x x)

exp
2

( x x )2

2 x2

Where the x describes the


broadness of the curve and
its square is called variance
standard deviation

0.9
0.8
0.7
-1

_
x

Type A when taking


multiple values the
distribution of these values
corresponds to normal or
Gaussian distribution

f (x) [mm

_
x - x

0.6

_
x + x

0.5
0.4
0.3
_
x - 2x

0.2
0.1

_
x + 2x
_
x + 3x

_
x - 3x

0
75.2 75.5 75.7 75.9 76.2 76.4 76.7 76.9 77.1 77.4 77.6 77.9
x [mm]

variance
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How to estimate
uncertainties II?

Standard deviation
x

( x1 xt ) ( x2 xt ) ( xn xt )

( xi xt ) 2

i 1

Where xt is the true value

Since we dont know the true value, we use


n

sx

( x1 x ) ( x2 x ) ( xn x )

n 1

( xi x ) 2

i 1

n 1

Wherex
is the mean value and sx experimental
standard deviation

and

x lim s x
n

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How to estimate
uncertainties III?

If you take e.g. 100 measurements and divide


them to 10 series each consisting 10 values and
then calculate the mean to each series, you can
show that the Stdev of the mean of the series is
related to the
Stdev of one series as follows
n
( xi x ) 2

s
sx

i 1

n(n 1)

Number n under the square-root, is the number


of measurements in one series
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