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Unit of study_

MECH5720: Sensors and Signals

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.

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.