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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The aim of the course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the digital and analogues instrumentation typically used in research and development laboratories. In addition, the course deals with the basic concepts for evaluating and expressing the measurement uncertainty.
Main acquired knowledge:
To evaluate and express measurement uncertainty.
The working principles of analog and digital instrumentation.
The measurement techniques used for device and circuit characterization under static and dynamic operation.
Basics of programming for automatic control of measurement systems.
Main acquired skills:
To use laboratory instrumentation (i.e., oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, digital multimeter, function generator, power supply).
To characterize devices (e.g., diodes, transistors) and circuits (e.g., amplifiers, oscillators) under static and dynamic operation.
To make a reasoned choice of suitable instrumentation and measurement technique for a particular application.
To set-up a measurement system with interconnected instruments and to develop its control software.


The following concepts, in addition to the knowledge provided by the course of “Circuits Theory,” are mandatory:
Basic concepts of probability theory.
Basic concepts of digital and analogue electronics.

Course programme

60 hours of teaching are given, divided in lectures (45 hours) and guided laboratory sessions (15 hours).

Introduction (2.5 hours)
Measurement Uncertainty (7.5 hours)
Digital Multimeter (5 hours)
Digital Storage Oscilloscope (5 hours)
Spectrum Analyzer (7.5 hours)
Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer (2.5 hours)
Signal Sources (2.5 hours)
Device and Circuit Characterization under Static and Dynamic Operation (2.5 hours)
LabVIEW (10 hours)
Laboratory sessions (15 hours)

Didactic methods

The course is organized as follows:
Frontal lectures on all the topics of the course.
Classroom exercises with emphasis on the final examination.
Exercises in the electronics laboratory where the students will be divided in groups (2 students per group). Students will take 9 guided tutorials of 2.5 hours each. During the lecture and examination periods, the students will have free access to the laboratory for improving their skills in the use of the available instrumentation.

Learning assessment procedures

The examination is structured in two independent sessions.
In the oral session, the student will have to prove his/her knowledge of the topics presented during the course, and his ability to link topics with one another. This oral test is considered to be successfully passed with at least 18 points out of 33.
In the laboratory session, the student has to characterize and motivate the electrical performance of the electronic circuit under test by using basic laboratory instrumentation and will have to prove his/her knowledge of LabVIEW and measurement uncertainty evaluation. At least 18 points out of 33 are needed to pass this test.
To pass the examination, it is necessary to pass both tests.
Denoting by “VT” the score obtained in the oral session and by “VL” the one obtained in the laboratory session, the final score “VF” is given by:
VF = [(2/3)*VT + (1/3)*VL]
During the examination it is not allowed to consult any textbook or document.
The examination list closes two days before the scheduled date in order to better organize the sessions.
Passing the exam certifies the acquisition of fundamental background on digital and analog electronic instrumentation and on the characterization techniques of electronic devices and circuits.
In particular, the lab session tests the student's capacity to use basic electronic instrumentation and to apply the associated measurement techniques.

Reference texts

Teacher’s handouts

Specific topics can be further developed in the following texts:
Gaetano Iuculano, Domenico Mirri, “Misure Elettroniche”, Ed. CEDAM.
Umberto Pisani, “Misure Elettroniche”, Ed. POLITEKO.
Nihal Kularatna, “Digital and Analogue Instrumentation: Testing and Measurement”, IEE.
Additional texts:
Sigfrido Leschiutta, “Misure Elettroniche”, Ed. Pitagora Editrice Bologna.
Gaetano Iuculano, “Introduzione a probabilità, statistica e processi stocastici nell’Ingegneria e nelle Scienze Fisiche”, Ed. Pitagora Editrice Bologna.
John R. Taylor, “Introduzione all’analisi degli errori”, Ed. Zanichelli.
Alessio Carullo, Umberto Pisani, Alberto Vallan, "Fondamenti Di Misure e Strumentazione Elettronica", Ed. CLUT.
Andrea De Marchi, Letizia Lo Presti, “Incertezze di misura”, Ed. CLUT.
Giovanni Colella, "Manuale di metrologia e strumentazione elettronica", Ed. Hoepli.