Fine as far as it goes - which is not far enough

Instrumentation for Engineers and Scientists. First Edition
November 26, 1999

This book begins by introducing the concept of an instrumentation system but then makes no attempt to discuss and analyse the characteristics of elements and systems under steady-state and dynamic conditions. There is no mention of the concepts of non-linearity, resolution, time constant and bandwidth, which are important in instrument selection. There is material on the analysis of errors but no link between this analysis and individual elements that contribute to this error.

There is much useful material on the characteristics of sensing elements in current use. There is also some useful material on signal conditioning and conversion circuits but nothing on key elements such as instrumentation amplifiers, current transmitters, oscillators and resonators. The material on the frequency spectrum of signals is good but there is no corresponding material on frequency response of elements and systems. There is nothing on the response of elements or systems in the time domain and no mention of steady-state signal processing for error reduction used in smart sensors. Finally, data presentation devices are not included - the key element that links the system to the observer.

The book will be of use to readers who require a concise introduction to instrumentation systems. Much of the material has, however, been published elsewhere. It will be useful to final-year undergraduates and postgraduates, especially in project work but there is insufficient development of engineering and system principles for it to underpin a final-year module on instrumentation. It will provide a useful introduction to practising engineers and scientists in industry, but there is insufficient material on element characteristics to aid the selection of elements and systems.

John Bentley is professor of measurement systems, University of Teesside.

Instrumentation for Engineers and Scientists. First Edition

Author - John Turner and Martin Hill
ISBN - 0 19 856518 6 and 856517 8
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Price - £45.00 and £22.50
Pages - 192

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