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Developing a Minor Program in Computer-based Measurement and Instrumentation For Undergraduate Science and Engineering Majors

16 Jun 2002-

AbstractThe Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Fort Valley State University has recently implemented a minor program in computer-based instrumentation and measurement. The primary objective of this project is to enhance the mathematics, physics, computer science, and electronic engineering technology programs at Fort Valley State University by designing and offering a minor in the field of computerized measurement and instrumentation. The minor program is structured around four courses: a two-course sequence in instrumentation and measurement systems, a course in applied statistics and a capstone. A salient feature of this program is its interdisciplinary nature since it serves various majors including physics, engineering, computer science, and chemistry. To support the aforementioned program a state-of-the-art computer-based instrumentation laboratory has been established. This lab is equipped with twelve (12) Pentium III PCs, data acquisition boards, signal conditioning modules, automation electronics, various passive and active sensors, and LabVIEW software. The lab also includes two experimental set-ups that can be fully controlled, monitored and operated by computer systems using virtual instrumentation technology. They also feature on-line capabilities that allow users to operate them remotely through the Internet. The new curriculum has positively impacted our existing programs in many respects. For the first time, our students have been able to perform applied research in their fields of engineering and science and publish/present their findings in a national scientific conference. In addition, the lab has been utilized as an instructional facility in teaching of a number of courses in mathematics, physics and engineering. This paper describes the efforts undertaken with respect to curriculum development and the technological infrastructure put in place to offer this minor program. Also included in this paper are student comments and a general discussion regarding the program’s positive educational impact and implementation challenges.

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Book
14 Aug 1995
TL;DR: This book discusses measurement systems with electrical Signals, computerized data acquisition systems, and the dynamic behavior of Measurement Systems.
Abstract: 1. Introduction. 2. General Characteristics of Measurement Systems. 3. Measurement Systems with Electrical Signals. 4. Computerized Data Acquisition Systems. 5. Discrete Sampling and Analysis of Time-Varying Signals. 6. Statistical Analysis of Experimental Data. 7. Experimental Uncertainty Analysis. 8. Measurement of Solid-Mechanical Quantities. 9. Measuring Pressure, Temperature and Humidity. 10. Measuring Fluid Flow Rate, Fluid Velocity, Fluid Level, and Combustion Pollutants. 11. Dynamic Behavior of Measurement Systems. 12. Guidelines for Planning and Documenting Experiments. Appendix A: Computational Methods for Chapter 5. Appendix B: Selected Properties of Substances. Glossary. Answers to Selected Problems. Index.

408 citations


Book
01 Mar 1999
Abstract: *Principles and Terminology. *Pressure Measurement. *Level, Height, Weight and Volume Measurement. *Flow Measurement. *Temperature Measurement. *Motion and Displacement Measurement. *Recording and Display. *Passive Circuit Techniques. *Measurement Applications. *Control Applications. *Practical Assignments.

27 citations


24 Jun 2001
TL;DR: The way computers are used to make physical measurements with sensors that send signals to data-acquisition boards and an instrument-based software (virtual instrument) reads the experimental data is discussed, which has helped create measurement systems that are dramatically more robust and efficient than traditional ones.
Abstract: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded Fort Valley State University (FVSU) a three-year project to develop an undergraduate minor program in computer based measurement and instrumentation. The primary objective of this program is to enhance the existing mathematics, engineering technology, and computer science programs at FVSU. This program will help students gain a solid foundation in computer science, engineering, physics, and modern experimental sciences through hands-on laboratory-based approaches with state-of-the-art technologies. A modern computerized instrumentation lab is currently being developed at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of FVSU to support the curriculum of the minor program. We are planning to equip the lab with various experimental setups that could be used to perform scientific experiments for lab science courses offered at FVSU. These setups will be fully controlled, monitored and operated by computer systems using virtual instrumentation technology. They will also feature on-line capabilities that would allow users to operate them remotely through the Internet. The setups are: (1) a motor-generator with a variable speed motor and a variable resistive load and (2) a variable-speed water pump, flow and level system. This paper discusses the way we use these in classes for teaching programming and data-acquisition. The paper presents typical assignments and a survey of student satisfaction and student complaints. Computer-Based Measurement and Instrumentation We believe that students majoring in computer science and engineering technology need computer experience that goes beyond standard "computer literacy" and programming. Computers are now routinely used for data acquisition and equipment control. With rapid growth in this area, more trained and knowledgeable college graduate are needed. In our laboratory, computers are being used to make physical measurements with sensors that send signals to data-acquisition boards and an instrument-based software (virtual instrument) reads the experimental data. This technology has helped create measurement systems that are dramatically more robust and efficient than traditional ones such as voltmeters, ammeters, thermometers, torque indicators, tachometers, level sight-gauges, rotameters, etc. In addition to taking the readings, the software can collect and record the data, present the data graphically and publish results to the World Wide Web. The following section includes further details of this technology. The computer-based measurements in our systems are made using LabVIEW software and data acquisition boards from National Instruments. All computers are IBM compatible Pentinum PCs. 1,3 Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia. 2 College of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

6 citations