EE3901/EE5901 Sensor Technologies
Subject details

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College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University

Welcome to EE3901 Sensor Technologies or EE5901 Advanced Sensor Technologies. I hope that you are excited to get underway with this subject. Before we begin, here is an overview of the administrative matters.

How to succeed in this subject

During lectures we will briefly summarise the week’s content, and engage in class discussions about any topics that might require further clarification. It is expected that you have read the weekly notes before the lecture.

It is essential that you practice solving problems. There are weekly tutorial questions for you to work through. You should have started work on the tutorial questions before the scheduled tutorial in order that you are ready to ask for help on any aspects that may be unclear.

Assumed knowledge

The undergraduate version of this class is typically taken by third year students in the Bachelor of Engineering. Students are expected to have proficiency in:

  • Circuit theory — You must be able to analyse DC and AC circuits based on resistors, capacitors, inductors, and op-amps.
  • Electronics — You must be familiar with semiconductor components like diodes and transistors.
  • Engineering mathematics — You must have the mathematical maturity of a third year engineering student, meaning for example that you have robust skills in algebra and calculus. You must be able to solve differential equations. You should have some familiarity with probability and understand concepts like the probability density function. You must be able to manipulate systems of equations using matrices. You should be familiar with Fourier and Laplace analysis, for example, in reasoning about the behaviour of circuits and systems in the frequency domain.
  • Programming — You must have the ability to write short programs to perform numerical calculations and make plots. We will use Matlab for the examples in class. In Week 8 we will use a specific Matlab toolbox for solving partial differential equations, and it will be much easier if you follow along in Matlab. However, for other activities, you are welcome to use any language. Python would also be a good choice.

If you are taking this class as part of the Masters of Engineering (Professional), then in addition to the above, you will also need to engage with the research literature around certain types of sensors and/or certain applications of sensors.

Reference books

There are no compulsory textbooks for this class. This webpage plus the lectures, tutorials and practicals should cover all that you need. Some weeks will have links to external websites as reading material. The weekly reading (where it is indicated on that week’s page) is compulsory.

If you would like to dig a little deeper, the following books are very relevant to this subject.

  • Clarence W. de Silva, Sensor Systems: Fundamental and Applications, CRC Press, 2017. This is an excellent reference for the model estimation and sensor fusion topics that we will cover.
  • Ramon Pallas-Areny and John G. Webster, Sensors and Signal Conditioning, 2nd edition, Wiley, 2001. This book covers the hardware aspects such as the interface circuit designs.
  • Jacob Fraden, Handbook of Modern Sensors: Physics, Designs, and Applications, 5th edition, Springer, 2016. This book is a survey of the different types of sensors.