But in order for an electronic circuit or system to perform any useful task or function it needs to be able to communicate with the “real world” whether this is by reading an input signal from an “ON/OFF” switch or by activating some form of output device to illuminate a single light.
Sensors and Transducers
In other words, an Electronic System or circuit must be able or capable to “do” something and Sensors and Transducers are the perfect components for doing this.
The word “Transducer” is the collective term used for both Sensors which can be used to sense a wide range of different energy forms such as movement, electrical signals, radiant energy, thermal or magnetic energy etc, and Actuators which can be used to switch voltages or currents.
There are many different types of sensors and transducers, both analogue and digital and input and output available to choose from. The type of input or output transducer being used, really depends upon the type of signal or process being “Sensed” or “Controlled” but we can define a sensor and transducers as devices that converts one physical quantity into another.
Devices which perform an “Input” function are commonly called Sensors because they “sense” a physical change in some characteristic that changes in response to some excitation, for example heat or force and covert that into an electrical signal. Devices which perform an “Output” function are generally called Actuators and are used to control some external device, for example movement or sound.
Electrical Transducers are used to convert energy of one kind into energy of another kind, so for example, a microphone (input device) converts sound waves into electrical signals for the amplifier to amplify (a process), and a loudspeaker (output device) converts these electrical signals back into sound waves and an example of this type of simple Input/Output (I/O) system is given below.
Temperature and Level Measurements
Introduction to Analytical Instrumentation
Flow and Velocity Measurements
The course is meant for Electrical, Electronics and Instrumentation Students