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rarely respond instantaneously to

changes in the measured variables
slowness/sluggishness due to
mass, thermal
capacitance, fluid capacitance or electric capacitance
Pure delay in time is often encountered where the
instrument are wait for some reaction to take place.
The dynamic behavior of an instrument is
determined by subjecting its primary element to
some known and predetermined variation in
measured quantity

Dynamics characteristic determined by analyzing the

response of the sensor to a variable input signal.

The reason for dynamics characteristic
is the
presence of energy- storing elements:
- Inertia (mass)
- Capacitances (electrical, thermal)

Type of dynamic input

The dynamic response characteristic - desired input is not

constant but varies rapidly with the time.

The dynamic inputs to an instrument may be of the
following types:- Periodic input-Varying cyclically with time or repeating
itself after a constant interval. The input may be of
harmonic or non harmonic type.

Transient input-Varying non-cyclically with time. The

signal is of a definite duration and becomes zero after a
certain period of time.

Random input-Varying randomly with time, with no

definite period and amplitude. This may be continuous,
but not cyclic

Types of the input function

1) Impulse function if a system is subjected to
shock input
2) Step function if a system is subjected to
sudden disturbances
3) Ramp function if the inputs are gradually
changing function of time
4) Sinusoidal function oscillation of spring,
ocean waves

Consider first the ramp function shown in the upper left. It is zero
for t<0 and one for t>T, and goes linearly from 0 to 1 as time goes
from 0 to T.

If we let T0, we get a unit step function, (t) (upper right).

If we take the derivative of our ramp function (lower left), we get a
rectangular pulse with height 1/T (the slope of the line) and width
T. This rectangular pulse has area (heightwidth) of one.
If we take the limit as T0, we get a pulse of infinite height, zero
width, but still with an area of one; this is the unit impulse and we
represent it by (t). Since we can't show the height of the impulse on
our graph, we use the vertical axis to show the area. The unit
impulse has area=1, so that is the shown height.

First Order Instrument

For studying the dynamic, it is necessary to represent

each instrument by it mathematical model, from

which the governing relation between its input &
output is obtained as below figure,

Block diagram of a first order instrument

Xi (t)


Xo (t)

Relation between the output and input signals is

(1+ D) Xo = K Xi (t)
where, Xo is output signals in function of time
Xi is input signals in function of time
K is constant
is time constant
D is the time derivative operator
With the term in the block diagram above as transfer function of the
= Xo (t)
(1+ D)
Xi (t)

The governing equation of a first order system is

ao xo bo xi (t )


= Xo (t)
(1+ D)
Xi (t)

K = bo/ao is static sensitivity

= a1/ao is time constant
D = d/dt is time derivative operator

For the static case, D = 0 , which is a zeroth order system for which

xo (t ) Kxi (t )
Where K is the static sensitivity

Solution : (a) Xo/Xi = 0.8 and = 0.2 s

for 1st order instrument with sinusoidal input
Xo/Xi = 1/ [1+ ()2] = 0.8
1/ [1+ (0.2)2] = 0.8
=3.75 rad/s
where = 2f, so f = 0.597 Hz
(b) Xo/Xi = 0.8 and = 0.2 s
for 1st order instrument with step input
Xo/Xi = 1 e t/ = 0.8
0.2 = e t/0.2
t = 0.322 s

First Order Response

The simplest time response is shown in Figure 1 as

the output change in time following a step input as in

Figure 2.

This is called first order - the time response is

determined by the solution of a first-order

differential equation.
A general equation can be written for this response
independent of the sensor, the variable being
measured, or the static transfer function.
The equation gives the sensor output as a function of
time following the step input:

The sensor output is in error during the transition

time of the output from bi to bf

actual variable value was changed
instantaneously to a new value at t = 0.
Equation (I .7) describes transducer output very
well except during the initial time period-that is, at
the start of the response near t = 0.
Thermometer, thermocouples & pressure gages
(bellow/diaphragm) may be called first order

Time Constant: The time constant, , is part of the

specification of the sensor. Its significance can be

seen by writing Equation (1.7) as:

The quantity on the left is the change in output as a

function of time, whereas (bf - bi) is the total change

that will occur.
The square-bracketed term is the fraction of total
change as a function of time

To find the change that has occurred at a time

numerically equal to , set t = in Equation (1.8) and


One time constant represents the time at which the output

value has changed by approximately 63% of the total change.
is sometimes referred to as the 63% time, the response time,
or the e-folding time.


a step change, the output response has

approximately reached its final value after five time
constants, since from Equation (1.8) we find

A sensor measures temperature linearly with a static

transfer function of 33 mV/ C and has a 1.5-s time

constant. Find the output 0.75 s after the input
changes from 200C to 410C. Find the error in
temperature this represents.
Solution :

This corresponds to an indicated temperature of


the error is 12.7

temperature is 410C


because the actual

Real-Time Effects

The concept of the exponential time response and

associated time constant is based on a sudden

discontinuous change of the input value
In the real world, such instantaneous changes occur
rarely if ever, and thus we have presented a worst
case situation in the time response.
In general, a sensor should be able to track any
changes in the physical dynamic variable in a time
less than one time constant

Second-Order Response
A step change in the input causes the output to

oscillate for a short period of time before settling

down to a value that corresponds to the new input
Such oscillation (and the decay of the oscillation
itself) is a function of the sensor
This output transient generated by the transducer is
an error and must be accounted for in any
measurement involving a transducer with this
Liquid manometers & pressure gage (mass in system,
spring & viscous damping mean) second order type

This is called a second-order- the time behavior is

described by a second-order differential equation.

A typical output curve that might be expected from a
transducer having a second-order response for a
discontinuous change in the input.

Characteristic second-order oscillatory time response of a


It is impossible to describe this behavior by a simple

analytic expression, as it is with the first-order

The general behavior (the general nature of the
response) can be described in time as:

This equation shows the basic damped oscillation

output of the device. The damping constant,, and

natural frequency, fn are characteristics of the
transducer itself and must be considered in many

Solution :

Solution :