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Unit of study_

MECH5720: Sensors and Signals

2024 unit information

Syllabus Summary: This course starts by providing a background to the signals and transforms required to understand modern sensors. It goes on to provide an overview of the workings of typical active sensors (Radar, Lidar and Sonar). It provides insight into basic sensing methods as well as aspects of interfacing and signal processing. It includes both background material and a number of case studies. The course covers the following topics: a) SIGNALS: Convolution, The Fourier Transform, Modulation (FM, AM, FSK, PSK etc), Frequency shifting (mixing) b) PASSIVE SENSORS: Infrared Radiometers, Imaging Infrared, Passive Microwave Imaging, Visible Imaging and Image Intensifiers c) ACTIVE SENSORS THE BASICS: Operational Principles, Time of flight (TOF) Measurement and Imaging of Radar, Lidar and Sonar, Radio Tags and Transponders, Range Tacking, Doppler Measurement, Phase Measurement d) SENSORS AND THE ENVIRONMENT: Atmospheric Effects, Target Characteristics, Clutter Characteristics, Multipath e) ACTIVE SENSORS: ADVANCED TECHNIQUES: Probability of Detection, Angle Measurement and Tracking, Combined Range/Doppler and Angle Tracking, Frequency Modulation and the Fast Fourier Transform, High Range Resolution, Wide Aperture Methods, Synthetic Aperture Methods (SAR) Objectives: The course aims to provide students with a good practical knowledge of a broad range of sensor technologies, operational principles and relevant signal processing techniques. Expected Outcomes: A good understanding of active sensors, their outputs and applicable signal processing techniques. An appreciation of the basic sensors that are available to engineers and when they should be used.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic

Code MECH5720
Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Credit points 6
MTRX3700 or MTRX3760 or equivalent study at another institution
MECH4720 or MECH8720
Assumed knowledge:
Strong MATLAB skills and some Electromagnetics

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. assimilate information regarding the myriad of possibilities for the design of a sensor, and to convey this information to ones colleagues
  • LO2. develop skills for efficient project management in a team environment
  • LO3. integrate incomplete information and make value judgements to solve a sensing problem by using engineering "gut feel", rather than a rigorous analytical approach
  • LO4. apply specialised engineering skills (mechanical, electrical, and software) to analyse the performance of a sensor
  • LO5. understand active sensors, their outputs, and applicable signal processing techniques, and demonstrate an appreciation of the basic sensors that are available to engineers, and when they should be used
  • LO6. describe a number of sensors
  • LO7. make a distinction between sensor performance, based on simulation and measurement.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Remote
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.

Important enrolment information

Departmental permission requirements

If you see the ‘Departmental Permission’ tag below a session, it means you need faculty or school approval to enrol. This may be because it’s an advanced unit, clinical placement, offshore unit, internship or there are limited places available.

You will be prompted to apply for departmental permission when you select this unit in Sydney Student.

Read our information on departmental permission.

Additional advice

This unit requires departmental permission to ensure appropriate foundational knowledge is met. If the prerequisite unit/s were completed at the University of Sydney or if you are enrolled in the Master of Engineering, Master of Professional Engineering or Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated), your request does not require supporting documentation to be approved. If you have completed studies at another institution, you must include your transcript when submitting your permission request for review by the Faculty.