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Fundamentals of Instrumentation and Measurement by Dominique Placko

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Chapter 11

Measurement Instrumentation

The purpose of this chapter is to review the essential definitions and characteristics of measurement. We discuss measurement systems and the roles and classifications of instruments in a comprehensive and descriptive way, with more detailed discussions to follow later in the book. Throughout this book, we use the example of the car to illustrate the importance and relevance of instrumentation.

1.1. General introduction and definitions

Whether exploring Mars, measuring the brain’s electrical signals for diagnostic purposes or setting up robots on an assembly line, measurement is everywhere. In all human activities, the idea of measurement establishes a relationship between a natural or artificial phenomenon and a group of symbols, usually numbers, in order to create the most reliable representation possible. This representation is classified according to an “orderly” scale of values.

Measurement is the basis of scientific and industrial research. It allows us to understand the phenomena we observe in our environment by means of experimental deduction and verification [ROM 89]; [HEW 90]; [PRI 95] and helps us keep records of the results of these observations. Established models and scientific laws are available for all of us, doing away with the need to begin each experiment with the most basic observations. This is why perpetuating knowledge is so important in the long term.

In the short term, this perpetuation guarantees the quality of products ...

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