Introduction to Electronic Instruments and Measurements1.3
Figure 1.2 shows the key software layers required on the host side for instrumentsystems. Systems typically take instruments with generic capabilities andprovide some specific function. For instance, an oscilloscope and a functiongenerator can be put together in a system to measure transistor gain. The exactsame system with different software could be used to test the fuel injector froma diesel engine.Generally, the system itself:
Automates a task that would be either complex or repetitive if performedmanually.
Can perform more complex analysis or capture trends that would beimpractical with a single instrument.
Is specific to a particular application.
Can integrate the results of the test into a broader application. For instance,the system test could run in a manufacturing setting where the system isalso responsible for handling the devices being tested as they come off theproduction line.Please refer to Part 11 of this handbook for an in-depth discussion of instrumentsoftware.
In test and measurement applications, it is commonplace to refer to the part of the real or physical world that is of interest as the
device under test (DUT).
A measurement instrument is used to determine the value or magnitude of aphysical variable of the DUT. A source instrument generates some sort of stimulus that is used to stimulate the DUT. Although a tremendous variety of instruments exist, all share some basic principles. This section introduces thesebasic principles of the function and design of electronic instruments.
Software layers on the hostside for instrument to computer connec-tion.