Almost any modern system contains sensors to observe the environment and actuators to influence this environment. An example of such a system is a modern car which is typically equipped with temperature, pressure, speed, chemical sensors and various mechanical values and engines. The course Sensors and Actuators provides an introduction to sensor and actuator technology. It discusses the basic principles behind the most commonly used types of sensors and actuators. It also deals with the physical principles which underly the operation of these sensors and actuators. The course provides also a basic introduction into signal processing, control theory and interface electronics such that students can design a complete system which integrates the sensors and actuators introduced in this course.

After successful completion of this course, you will have knowledge in the following areas:

  • classification and terminology of sensors and actuators,
  • signal processing,
  • the most important sensor types: (electro)magnetical, acoustic, thermal, mechanical and chemical,
  • the most important actuator types: linear and rotary electromechanical converters, displays, electrical converters,
  • interface methodologies and circuits,
  • integration aspects,
  • manufacturing techniques and material properties,
  • applications of sensors and actuators.

You will also be able to analyze a system and to determine which types of sensors and actuators are needed to realize this system.