Curriculum and Labs for Engineering Education

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Introduction to Mechanical Measurements (Connexions)

Introduction to Mechanical Measurements (Connexions)

Course by: Luke Graham (BYU)

This course is currently used as the lab portion of an instrumentation class in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Brigham Young University. This course covers the use of oscilloscopes, function generators, and data acquisition hardware. Students build signal conditioning circuits, calibrate measurements, build strain-gauge wheatstone bridges, and experiment with frequency filters.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Benchtop Equipment and Data Acquisition
           Many sensors produce analog (continuous) electrical signals. Once recorded, these signals are scaled to determine the magnitude of the physical phenomenon.  In this lab, you will learn about some common methods for recording and displaying voltage signals.  Your focus will not be on any particular sensing technology. In the process of performing the lab exercises, you will learn about hardware and software that you will use throughout the semester.
Temperature Measurement and First-Order Dynamic Response
     In this lab exercise, you will determine how various temperature measurement systems respond to different inputs.  This analysis will include a thermometer, a thermocouple, and a thermistor.
In this lab, you will build several basic op-amp circuits to learn about the signal conditioning of sensor signals.

In this lab, you will learn about strain gages and the Wheatstone bridge circuit.  You will see how they can be used for strain and force measurement. You will modify an existing program to measure the dynamic characteristics of a second-order system.

About Connexions

The Connexions approach Connexions is an environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web. Our Content Commons contains educational materials for everyone — from children to college students to professionals — organized in small modules that are easily connected into larger collections or courses. All content is free to use and reuse under the Creative Commons "attribution" license.

Anita B
Applications Engineer
National Instruments