Understanding Sensors for Test & Measurement

Course Length:



This three day course, based on the 690-page Sensor Technology Handbook, published by Elsevier in 2005 and edited by the instructor, is designed for engineers, technicians and managers who want to increase their knowledge of sensorsfor test & measurement. It balances breadth and depth in a practical presentation for those who design sensor systems and work with sensors of all types. Each topic includes technology fundamentals, selection criteria, applicable standards, interfacing and system designs, and future developments.

What you will learn:

  • How to understand sensor specifications
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different sensor types
  • How to avoid configuration and interfacing problems
  • How to select and specify the best sensor for your application
  • How to select and apply the correct signal conditioning
  • How to find applicable standards for various sensors
  • Principles and applications of wireless sensor networks

From this course you will learn how to select and apply sensors in measurement systems to acquire accurate data for a variety of applications and measurands including mechanical, thermal, & optic al data

Course Outline:

  1. Sensor Fundamentals; Application Considerations, Measurement Issues & Criteria
  2. Sensor Signal Conditioning; Bridge Circuits, Analog to Digital Converters, Systems on a Chip, Sigma-Delta ADCs, Conditioning High Impedance & Charge Output Sensors
  3. Introduction to Strain Gages; Piezoresistance, Thin Film, Microdevices, Accuracy, Strain Gage Based Measurements, Sensor Installations, High Temperature Installations
  4. Electromagnetism in Sensing; Electromagnetism & Inductance, Sensor Applications, Magnetic Field Sensors
  5. Acceleration, Shock & Vibration Sensors; Piezoelectric, Charge Mode & IEPE, Piezoelectric Materials & Structures, Piezoresistive, Capacitive, Servo Force Balance, Mounting, Acceleration Probes, Grounding, Cables & Connections
  6. Sensors for Mechanical Shock; Technology Fundamentals, Sensor Types-Advantages & Disadvantages, Frequency Response Requirements, Pyroshock Measurement, Failure Modes, Structural Resonance Effects, Environmental Effects
  7. Machinery Vibration Monitoring Sensors; Accelerometer Types, 4-20 Milliamp Transmitters, Capacitive Sensors, Intrinsically Safe Sensors, Mounting Considerations
  8. Position & Motion Sensors; Contact & Non-contact, Limit Switches, Resistive, Magnetic & Ultrasonic Position Sensors, Proximity Sensors, Photoelectric Sensors, Linear & Rotary Position & Motion Sensors, Optical Encoders, Resolvers & Synchros
  9. Capacitive & Inductive Displacement Sensors; Capacitive Fundamentals, Inductive Fundamentals, Target Considerations, Comparing Capacitive & Inductive, Using Capacitive & Inductive Together
  10. Force, Load & Weight Sensors; Sensor Types, Physical Configurations, Fatigue Ratings
  11. Pressure Sensors; Fundamentals of Pressure Sensing Technology, Piezoresistive Sensors, Piezoelectric Sensors, Specialized Applications
  12. Test & Measurement Microphones; Measurement Microphone Characteristics, Condenser & Prepolarized (Electret), Effect of Angle of Incidence, Pressure, Free Field, Random Incidence, Environmental Effects, Specialized Types, Calibration Techniques
  13. Flow Sensors; Thermal Anemometers, Differential Pressure, Vortex Shedding, Positive Displacement & Turbine Based Sensors, Mass Flowmeters, Electromagnetic, Ultrasonic & Laser Doppler Sensors, Calibration
  14. Level Sensors; Hydrostatic, Ultrasonic, RF Capacitance, Magnetostrictive, Microwave Radar, Selecting a Technology
  15. Humidity Sensors; Capacitive, Resistive & Thermal Conductivity Sensors, Temperature & Humidity Effects, Condensation & Wetting, Integrated Signal Conditioning
  16. Optical & Radiation Sensors; Photosensors, Quantum Detectors, Thermal Detectors, Phototransistors, Thermal Infrared Detectors,
  17. Temperature Sensors; Electromechanical & Electronic Sensors, IR Pyrometry, Thermocouples, Thermistors, RTDs, Interfacing & Design, Heat Conduction & Self Heating Effects,
  18. Nanotechnology-Enabled Sensors; Possibilities, Realities, Applications,
  19. Smart Sensors; IEEE 1451, TEDS, TEDS Sensors, Plug & Play Sensors
  20. Wireless Sensor Networks; Individual Node Architecture, Network Architecture, Radio Options, Power ConsiderationsAppendices on Calibration, Sensor Selection and Application & Installation


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or ati@aticourses.com. Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at ati@aticourses.com.

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at ati@aticourses.com.


  • Jon Wilson 

      holds degrees in Mechanical, Automotive and Industrial Engineering. His 45-plus years of experience include Test Engineer, Test Laboratory Manager, Applications Engineering Manager and Marketing Manager at Chrysler Corporation, ITT Cannon Electric Co., Motorola Semiconductor Products Division and Endevco. He is Editor of the Sensor Technology Handbook published by Elsevier in 2005. He has been consulting and training in the field of testing and instrumentation since 1985. He has presented training for ISA, SAE, IEST, SAVIAC, ITC, & many government agencies and commercial organizations. He is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology, and a Lifetime Senior Member of SAE and ISA.

    Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

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