|Book Details :|
In libraries and bookshops we can find various books on electrical measurements1 . Most of them describe various aspects of electrical measurements: digital or analogue techniques, sensors, data acquisition, data conversion, etc.
However, it can be difficult to find a book that includes a complete guide on the techniques used in taking electrical measurements.
The reason for this is rather obvious –modern measuring requires knowledge of many interdisciplinary topics such as computer techniques, electronics, signal processing, micro- and nanotechnology, artificial intelligence methods, etc. It is practically impossible for one author to know and explain all these subjects.
Therefore, there are frequently available books called “Handbook of…” written by dozens of co-authors. Unfortunately, such books are mainly more conglomerates of many encyclopaedia entries of unequal levels than comprehensive and compact knowledgeable books.
The other aspect of this problem is that the progress in measuring techniques is very fast, with every year bringing new developments. It is really difficult to catch the state of the art in measurements.
It is much easier to gather knowledge on a particular subject in the form of a monograph focused on a special problem.
But on the other hand, students and industry engineers look for comprehensive books that are easy to understand and most of all include recent developments, such the computer measuring systems or virtual measuring methods.
I lecture on electrical measurements to students of electrical engineering, robotics and informatics. To tell the truth I could not find a suitable book on the whole subject and therefore I decided to write one myself.
Last year I “tested” this book on students and the results were quite promising. Most of the students understood the electrical measurements and what most importantly, they found that this subject was interesting, and even fascinating.
Let us look at modern measurement techniques, the present state and the future perspectives. There is no doubt that the future is reserved for computer measuring systems.
It is no wonder that today, when a simple electric shaver is supported by a microcontroller that the measuring instruments are also computerized. Recently, computer measuring systems have become main tools and the subject of research.
The result is that many important topics, discussed in this book as “Classic Electrical Measurements” are today on the periphery of interest. However knowledge of these subjects is important to understand the principles of modern measuring instruments.
Other consequence of the development of computer and microelectronics supported measuring systems is that they are now also available to nonspecialists.
Today, what was reserved exclusively in past, measuring devices as high quality analogue to digital converters or amplifiers, are now available to all at modest prices. User friendly software such as LabVIEW helps in the design of sophisticated measuring instruments.
So-called intelligent sensors are today designed in “plug and play” technology, ready to connect into worldwide computer networks.
Thus currently, the measurement technique is open to everyone (including persons far from electrical engineering) and it is important to show them, how to perform the measurements correctly.
This brings us to the fundamental question: which knowledge about measurements is indispensable? After discussing with many university colleagues, practicing industry engineers and of course students, the proposal of contents for such indispensable subject was formulated.
But it appeared that to present such subjects more than a thousand pages book was advisable. Therefore, the whole programme was divided into two clearly separated parts:
“Principles of Electrical Measurements” and “Application of Electrical Measurements in Science, Industry and Everyday Life”.
This first part is presented in this book. I understand the “Principles of Electrical Measurements” as the whole knowledge, common for all types of electrical measurements.
These common subjects include most of all signal processing techniques (digital and as well analogue), classic measurement techniques, methods of estimation of accuracy and uncertainty of measurement results.
Data acquisition and signal conditioning, application of computers and digital signal processors in measurement and virtual measurements techniques.
When such subjects are understood (for example, after reading this book, I hope) it should be more easy to adapt to the more practical subjects:
“Application of Electrical Measurements” – sensors, measurements of electrical and non-electrical quantities, non-destructive testing and material evaluation, design of measuring instruments, etc.).