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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


The course Data Acquisition Technologies is designed to provide second year students of the Laurea Magistrale Degree in Electronic Engineering with a deeper understanding of technologies for measurement, with particular attention to acquisition, synchronization and remote instrument control technologies, and to complex measurement system design.
The Course aims at providing a high-level knowledge of hardware and protocols for designing and running acquisition and measurement systems of industrial level.
In details, the aims can be presented by the following five descriptors:
- Knowledge and understanding
Deep knowledge and understanding of theoretical and applicative topics in the field of technology for measurements. Knowledge of devices, hardware and protocols to design and implement an up-to-date and maintainable measurement system.
- Applying knowledge and understanding
Ability to design, implement and manage measurement systems, by choosing devices that are the most appropriate both from a technical and economical point of view. Ability to integrate instruments and devices of industrial level.
- Making informed judgements and choices:
Ability to evaluate results, select relevant information and suitable approximations to realize measurement systems. The student must test their capability to perform design choices and justify them.
-Communication skills
Capability to communicate technical information both orally and in writing. Ability to present and justify design choices. Ability to discuss problems and solutions with specialists and non-specialists. Ability to be either concise or accurate depending on the specific context.
-Continuous learning skills
Capability of continuous learning, through the proper interpretation of scientific and technical literature, manuals of manufacturers and technical standards.


The prerequisites are those indicated in the regulations of the "Laurea Magistrale in Ingegenria Elettronica" for admission to the first year.
Basic knowledge of electronics and conventional instrumentation for electrical quantities.
Knowledge of the advanced measuring methods and uncertainty evaluation and propagation.


-Introduction(2 hours -lessons)
Course presentation (expected skills, examination guidelines, reference materials).
Data acquisition systems: concepts.

-Measurements in industrial environment (8 hours - lessons)
Sensor characteristics and specifications
Working principles of most important industrial sensors and transducers.
Hall effect sensors
Wheatstone bridge for resistance measurement.
Temperature sensors (thermocouples, RTDs, thermistors, IC sensors) and corresponding conditioning systems.

-Synchronization problems and methods (10 hours - lessons)
Timescale principles.
Synchronization signals.
Short distance synchronization protocols.
Synchronization based on satellite systems.
Packet network based synchronization systems.
Latency measurements.

-Remote control of measurement devices (6 hours – lessons)
Distributed measurement systems and large-scale architectures.
Communication systems, serial and parallel buses.
Main standards for interfacing measurement instrumentation.

-Data acquisition systems: architectures (14 ore - lessons)
Review of data acquisition systems with analog and digital I/O.
Modular instrumentation.
Rack-based instrumentation.
Systems for real-time measurement.
Data acquisition on single-board computers.
Automated test systems.

-Measurement Technologies - Laboratory (20 hours - laboratory)
Review of LabVIEW environment.
Laboratory experience on data acquisition and elaboration with modular and general purpose devices.
Development of Virtual Instruments (VIs) and SubVIs for data acquisition.
Data acquisition in real-time systems.
Data acquisition in FPGA-base systems.
Acquisition from temperature and magnetic field sensors.
Laboratory experiences for serial and parallel communication among instruments.
Programs and prototypes for synchronized measurements.
Ph.D students' and/or industry people's lectures.

Teaching Methods

The course is composed of 40 hours of theory lessons and 20 hours of practice, for a total of 60 hours. During the theory lessons, the teacher sets out the topics in the program; whereas during the practice sessions, students, working in small groups under the supervision of the teacher, learn how to use different technologies, to design and implement acquisition and measurement systems for specific applications.

Verification of learning

The examinations are carried out by oral exam aimed at discussing course topics. Linked laboratory experiences are discussed and at verifying the preparation of the student in other topics included in the course.
The final mark to pass the exam ranges from 18/30 to 30/30. The evaluation rewards students autonomy and capability to rethink the theoretical lessons in applications, communicate clearly relevant characteristics and highlight possible issues.
In this regard, the questions of the oral are organized to highlight the following aspects:
- Acquired knowledge of theoretical topics
- The applied knowledge and understanding, with particular attention to practical cases
- The capacity to choose among different technologies depending on needs and requirements of a real acquisition and measurement system.


Teaching material provided during the course (slides, lesson notes, manuals, etc.).
This is the reference material covering all the topics and aspects.

Other textbooks for support:
Keithley Instruments: Data acquisition and control handbook, 2001. (Measurements in industrial environment and Data acquisition systems)

More Information

The teacher provides the slides used for the presentation of lessons in electronic format.
Datasheets of measurement devices and international standards are also presented and discussed.

Questionnaire and social

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