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A Computer-Based Laboratory Bench for Learning Instrumentation and Data Acquisition

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  013140,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.4268) @2001
Authors:   Hartono Sumali, R. Jason Brown
Keywords:   Instrumentation, data acquisition, test rig, education

As a response to feedback from alumni and their employers in industry, the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department at Purdue University has renovated its Instrumentation and Data Acquisition laboratory to include instrumentation benches with industrial transducers, computers, and data acquisition hardware. Features of the benches and selected laboratory experiments are illustrated in this paper. Each bench has a water-circulating pump, permanent tubing and valves, visual gages, heat exchangers, control valves, signal conditioners, a power supply, and transducers to provide various means of measuring pressure, flow, and temperature. Hoses with quick-connect ends allow flexible connections among the various instruments. The benches are self-contained, movable and can be used wherever there is electric power. Internet connection allows monitoring and control of the benches from anywhere in the world. The course teaches principles of measurement, signal conditioning, transduction of phenomena commonly measured in industry and agriculture, data acquisition using computers, data processing, and transmission and communication of information. Students build signalconditioning circuits such as a strain gage signal conditioner with a Wheatstone bridge, operational amplifiers, and active filters. Other experiments include interfacing with global positioning systems (GPS) and sensors used in precision agriculture.

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