Static Characteristics of Measuring Instruments

Anurag Arya 2K11/EE/016

Static Characteristics of a Measuring Instrument include
• • • • • • • • • • Accuracy Precision Repeatability Reproducibility Range/Span Sensitivity Hysteresis Drift Dead Band Readability

• Accuracy is the degree of conformity of the measured value with the accepted standard or ideal value, which we can take as the true physical variable.

Precision is the degree of exactness for which an instrument is designed or intended to perform.

It is composed of two characteristics; 1. Conformity 2. Number of significant figures

The closeness of agreement among a number of consecutive measurements of the same variable (value) under the same operating conditions, approaching in the same direction


• The closeness of agreement among a number of consecutive measurements of the same variable (value) under the same operating conditions over a period of time, approaching from both directions.

• Reproducibility includes hysteresis, dead band, drift and repeatability

• Range represents the minimum and maximum values which can be determined by an instrument or equipment. • Difference between upper and lower range is known as Span. • Span can be the same for two different range instruments.

• This is the relationship between a change in the output reading for a given change of the input. (This relationship may be linear or non-linear.) • Sensitivity is often known as scale factor or instrument magnification and an instrument with a large sensitivity (scale factor) will indicate a large movement of the indicator for a small input change.

Force, F

Output, Vo (V)

Load Cell Output, Vo Slope = 5 V/kN

Input, Fi (kN)

Input, F (kN) K

Output, Vo (V)

Sensitivity, K = 5 V/kN

• This is the algebraic difference between the average errors at corresponding points of measurement when approached from opposite directions, i.e. increasing as opposed to decreasing values of the input. Measured • Hysteresis is caused by Value Ideal energy storage/ dissipation in the system.
Actual/ Input Value

• Zero drift is variation in the output of an instrument which is not caused by any change in the input; it is commonly caused by internal temperature changes and component instability.

• Sensitivity drift defines the amount by which instrument’s sensitivity varies as ambient conditions change.



sensitivity drift zero drift input sensitivity drift input


zero drift Input

Dead Band

• This is the range of different input values over which there is no change in output value. This is produced by friction, backlash or hysteresis in the instrument.


• This is defined as the ease with which readings may be taken with an instrument. Readability difficulties may often occur due to parallax errors when an observer is noting the position of a pointer on a calibrated scale.

• A spurious current or voltage extraneous to the current or voltage of interest n an electrical or electronic circuit is called NOISE. • It is a signal that does not convey any information.

Sources of Noise
• Generated Noise : The noise present due to the effects of internal resistances, capacitances and transistors etc. This includes Johnson noise. • Conducted Noise : The noise present due to the presence of extra harmonics that may result in spikes and ripples. • Radiated Noise : Electric or magnetic fields in the environment may tend to distort the original signal. This is radiated noise.

Signal to Noise Ratio
• The ratio of desired signal to the unwanted noise is termed as Signal to Noise Ratio.


• It is defined as : F= S/N at input S/N at output • Noise factor measurements are important because they are a measure of noise added to a signal by a device in a measuring system. • If noise factor is expressed in decibels it is known as noise figure nf = 10logF


A course in Electrical and Electronic Measurements and Instrumentation by A.K. Sawheny • A report on Industrial Instrumentation by Dr. Ing Naveed Ramzan • A lecture on Instrumentation and Product Testing

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