Great article! Sometimes you have a fast ADC and a lot of time for a precision measurement. In 1989 we scrapped a whole board of high precision analog components on a Shuttle experiment which took 5 seconds to produce a single 12 bit digitization by supeimposing a precision sine wave on the DC raw data and summing 2048 samples from the 12bit ADC. We achieved 18 bit precision in one second. The accuracy was improved by intermingling precision references and board temperature measurements, and applying post processing corrections. (US Patent 4973914).
Thanks, Nancy. Yes, before you think about digitizing analog signals you must know much about them. Unfortunately, some engineers jump in and specify data-acquisition equipment they later find doesn't give them the results they expect. Early in my career I made similar mistakes.
I really appreciated your explanation of quantization errors and possible solutions, as well as the trade-offs that are involved. It seems to me from reading your blog that an important first step of any project would be to have a very good understanding of the precision required so that one knows what effect quantization errors would have and how far one should go in attempting to reduce or eliminate them. Thanks for the great information, Jon!
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.