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Department of Electronics and Microelectronics

**ELECTRONIC MEASUREMENTS Lecture 2. Static Characteristics of Measurement System Devices. (Systematic characteristics)
**

The static characteristics and parameters of measuring instruments describe the performance of the instruments related to the steady-state input/output variables only. The various static characteristics and parameters are destined for quantitative description of the instrument’s perfections and they are well presented in the manufacturer's manuals and data sheets. Systematic characteristics are those that can be exactly quantified by mathematical or graphic means (we know their values and polarities). These are distinct from statistical characteristics which cannot be exactly quantified.

**1. Transfer Function TF (Output/Input relationship)
**

The transfer function of the measuring device is the most important characteristic, describing the instrument's conversion, giving the general relation between input and output variables and parameters of measuring instrument : Y = f(a1 , a2 … a3 , X) measuring instruments. Usually, the instrument’s manufacturers make efforts to obtain a linear transfer function such as (Fig.1-a): Y = S.X where: S = Y/X is called sensitivity (note: for linear function and Y=0, when X=0 only !). The sensitivity S is the most important parameter of a linear measuring device and is a object of a special attention when the device is designed. (2) (1)

Where: X is the input variable, Y is the output variable and a1, a2 … a3 are the parameters of the

For some measuring devices (for example the transducers with current output signal 4 to 20 mA) the output variable can contain constant (Fig.1-b): Y = Yo+S.X function is nonlinear such as (Fig.1-c): Y = Yo ( 1+a1.X + a2.X2) (4) (3)

For some measuring devices (for example, the resistance temperature device “Pt100”) the transfer

Sensitivity of linear (-a) and nonlinear (-b) transfer functions.2-a.for linear measuring device S = dY/dX . a/ b/ Fig. the sensitivity of a device with linear TF is constant for the whole measurement range.-b) and nonlinear(-c) 2. . The changes in sensitivity are named sensitivity error or drift (frequently also “gain error or drift”).a/ b/ c/ Fig.2. For the devises with non-linear TF the sensitivity varies in the measurement range and mast be determinated for a concrete point only or as a average value for some internal in the range interval. As can be seen in Fig. the sensitivity “S” is rate of change of output Y with respect to change of input X: S = ∆Y/∆X . 1. Graphical presentation of a transfer functions: linear(-a.2. Sensitivity By definition.for nonlinear measuring device The graphical representation of sensitivity for both different type devices is shown in Fig.

The absolute error has the same dimension as the measured value. 5. . Resolution Resolution is defined as the largest change in input variable (∆XR) without any corresponding change of output variable (∆Y=0). For example. .3. Mathematical expression of errors. The absolute errors are used for presentation of the result X of the measurement: X = X R ± ∆X (6) (5) . Absolute and percent errors Let’s X T is a true value and X R i s a reading (measured) value of the input variable. Range and Span 4. For example. for example: from -10 to +150 oC (for the measurement device with temperature input).(-10 oC) = 160 oC.The input range of an measuring device is specified by the minimum and maximum values of input variable (Xmin to Xmax) .The input span of a measuring devices is specified by the difference between maximum Xmax and minimum Xmin values of input variables: (Xmax . resolution can be defined also as insensitiveness of the measuring devices. 4. The measurement error is defined by the deviation of the measurement result from the true value of the input variable. 5. Span .The output span of a measuring devices is specified by the difference between maximum Ymax and minimum Ymin values of output variables: (Ymax . Range . then.The output range of an measuring device is specified by the minimum and maximum values of output variable (Ymin to Ymax) . for a measuring devices with input range from -10 oC to +150 oC the input span is: +150 oC . Thus.Xmin ). by the above definition the measurement error is: ∆X = X R .1. for example: from 4 to +20 mA (for the measurement element with current output). 4. for a measuring devices with output range from 4 to +20 mA is: +20 mA .2.Ymin). Measurement errors The measurement error is the most important quality characteristic of the measurement process.X T where ∆X is named absolute error or shortly .1.error.4 mA = 16 mA.

1V. 5.The absolute error of a measuring device may be presented by table or graph versus input variable in the range but usually – by limits of absolute error in the range. the second measurement is better than the first. Therefore. By the (8) we can obtain the limits of absolute error after measurement: ∆V = γX SPAN 200 − 0 = ±1 = ±2V 100 100 Finally for measurement we can write the result of measurement such as: . Note. we can estimate the error after measurement. Therefore. the percent errors of reading are: δX1=0. let’s two measurements X1=20V and X2=50V are given with equal limits of absolute errors: ∆X = ± 0. Accuracy Traditionally this term is basically used in the manufacturer specifications for a measurement instrument or device.5% and δX2=0.1V.1V. Accuracy of an instrument is the quality which characterizes the ability of a measuring instrument to give indications approximating to the true value of the measured variable. The percent errors of span (frequently named “of range”) γX are given in percent and are normally used for compare the accuracy of two or more measurement instruments: γX = ∆X 100% SPAN (8) For example. the percent errors of range are respectively: γX1=1% and γX2=0. let’s two voltmeters V1 and V2 with ranges respectively 0 to 10V and 0 to 20V are given with equal limits of absolute errors: ∆X = ± 0. Example: Let’s reading value is 100V.2%. that when the accuracy of some measurement device is presented with percent error. The specifications of the accuracy are given actually in terms of error (in other words in terms of inaccuracy …!). The percent errors of reading δX are given in percent and are normally used for compare the accuracy of two or more measurements: δX = ∆X ∆X 100% ≈ 100% XT XR (7) For example. for example: voltmeter with range from 0 to 10 V and with limits of absolute error ±0. obtained by voltmeter with a range from 0 to 200V and accuracy γX=± 1% of range. the second instrument is more precisely than the first. Corresponding to the (7).5%.2. Corresponding to the (8).

5. Zero error (zero drift or offset) .4.Fig.real sensitivity. that the measurement value is between 98 and 102 Volts. (9) where SN – nominal sensitivity and SR . Sensitivity error of a measuring device with a linear transfer function The sensitivity error can be calculated by the equation: ∆S = SR – SN or. gain error) The changes in sensitivity are named sensitivity error (sensitivity drift. Sensitivity error (sensitivity drift.Zero error or offset is defined as the change in ouput Y (∆YOS) without any corresponding change of the input as is shown in Fig.3.4: Fig. for example: 10uV/°C in case of a voltmeter affected by ambient temperature change. . The output offset is expressed in units of the output variable.V = VR ± ∆ V = 100V ± 2 V and we say. 5.4. usually as: δS = ∆S/SN = (SR – SN)/ SN. Usually the offset is specified in relation with the corresponding influence factor.3. Output and Input Zero error (Offset) The input offset is expressed in units of the input variable.3: Fig. gain error) .

X0 – the value of input variable for witch output becomes equal to zero.5 maximal nonlinear error can be calculated by equation: (δYNL ) max = (YR − YN ) max 100% Ymax (12) . YR – real output.5. which do not conform completely to the nominal linear TF.Fig. The input offset (input zero error) can be calculated or measured using the equation: ∆XOS = -X0 (for Y=0).5. Nonlinear error. Usually the manufacturers try to obtain a linear transfer function (named “nominal”) of the measuring instruments. (11) (10) 5. due to the different causes.real output. For example. Where: YN – nominal output and YR . However.The output offset (output zero error) can be calculated or measured using the equation: ∆YOS = Y R (for X=0) – YN(for X=0). the real isn’t exactly ideal straight line. Fig. Where: YN – nominal output. The effect of this non-linearity will results in output readings.5. Nonlinear error The nonlinear error is usually expressed as a percentage of the span (full-scale reading). corresponding to the Fig.

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