University of Florida

ABE 6031
Instrumentation in Agricultural Engineering Research

Semester Taught - Fall

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

Principles and application of measuring instruments and devices for obtaining experimental data in agricultural engineering research.



Course Objectives

The lecture period will be used to develop a basic theoretical understanding of key issues in experimental/instrumentation design, signal conditioning, analog devices, data acquisition and sampling, and fundamental sensor applications.

The lab will be used to provide hands on experience with instrumentation equipment such as oscilloscopes, function generator, data acquisition boards, bread boarding circuits, and other practical techniques.

Demonstration and assignment labs will be provided and required, respectively. Additionally, the laboratory will be used to introduce the student to LabVIEW, Electronic WorkBench, and Matlab applications in instrumentation. Also, this period will be used to bring in Manufacturer's representatives and other researchers to discuss and demonstrate their experiences in instrumentation. The student will be given moderate guidance with ample opportunity to explore and learn at one's own initiative.


Dr. Tom Burks
Frazier Rogers Hall, #225
Phone: 352-392-1864 ext. 225

Material/Supply Fee


Class Materials Required


  • Theory and Design for Mechanical Measurements , 3 rd ed., R.S. Figliola and D.E. Beasley, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Recommended Text

  • LabVIEW Programming, Data Acquisition and Analysis, J.Y. Beyon, Prentice Hall PTR. This text may be helpful LabVIEW programming, but not required.
  • Instrumentation and Measurement for Environmental Sciences, Z.A.Henry, ASAE. There will be required reading, homework and lab exercises taken from text.

Readings from Instrumentation and Measurements for Environmental Science:

Chapter 1 Planning the Experiments Read asap
Chapter 11 Systems response Supports chapter 3 of textbook
Chapter 14 Indicating and Recording Read asap
Chapter 15 Analysis and interpretation Supports chapter 4
Chapter 10 Signal conditioning Supports chapter 6
Chapter 13 Digital data acquisition Supports chapter 7
Chapter 16 Interfacing microcomputers
for data acquisition and control
Supports chapter 7

Course Outline

Lecture Materials Covered

Week 1 Chapter 1  Basic Concepts of Measurement Systems
Week 2 Chapter 2 Static and Dynamic Characteristics of Signals
Week 3   Electronic Circuits Review
Week 4 Chapter 3 Measurement Systems Behavior
Week 5 Chapter 4 Probability and Statistics
Week 6 Chapter 5 Uncertainty Analysis
Week 7 Chapter 6 Analog Electrical Devices and Measurements
Week 8 Chapter 6 Analog Electrical Devices and Measurements
Week 9 Chapter 7 Sampling, Digital Devices, and Data Acquisition
Week 10 Chapter 8 Temperature Measurements
Week 11 Chapter 9 Pressure and Velocity Measurements
Week 12 Chapter 10 Flow Measurement
Week 13 Chapter 11 Straiin Measurement
Week 14 Chapter 12 Metrology, Motion, Force, and Power Measurement
Week 15   Project Presentations
Week 16   Finals

Laboratory Topics Covered:

Week 1 AC & DC Instruments
Week 2 Electrical Circuits Review
Week 3 MATLAB Review
Week 4 Electronics Workbench
Week 5 Electronics Workbench
Week 6 LABVIEW Structure of VI and Sub VI
Week 7 LABVIEW Statements, Arrays and Clusters
Week 8 LABVIEW Data Display
Week 9 LABVIEW Data Acquisition and Demos
Week 10 Analog Electrical Devices and Measurements
Week 11 Analog Electrical Devices and Measurements
Week 12 Dynamic Sensors Demos
Week 14 Term Project Work Lab
Week 16 FINALS



Grading Method Percentage
Homework and Lab Reports 20%
Technical Presentation 10%
Mid-Term Exam 25%
Term Project & Presentation 20%
Final Exam 25%

  1. There will be approximately one homework or lab assignment per week. Late homework will not be accepted without prior approval. You may discuss homework with others, but you may not copy verbatim homework from another student. Cheating on homework will effect all parties involved.
  2. Some laboratories will require preparation, others are primarily demonstrations. Information about the laboratory requirements will be given out prior to the laboratory period. It is mandatory to attend Labs. Get advance approval if you can not attend lab.
  3. Each student will make a 15 minute technical presentation and turn in a minimum 3 to 5 page typed summary report covering a topic in instrumentation and sensor technology not covered in the text. The presentation must be thorough and technically accurate. The student should select a topic based on his/her personal research interest.
  4. Each student will be required to complete a term instrumentation research or design project. The project should incorporate data acquisition design and programming, data collection, and basic data analysis. A 10 minute class presentation and project report will be required. The student should select a topic based on his/her personal research interest.
  5. An in-class mid-term exam will be given covering lecture materials and homework.
  6. A comprehensive take home final exam will be given covering lecture materials and homework.
  7. Attendance, attitude, and participation will be taken into consideration for borderline grades.

Academic Honesty

In 1995 the UF student body enacted an honor code and voluntarily committed itself to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. When students enroll at the university, they commit themselves to the standard drafted and enacted by students.

The Honor Pledge: We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

On all work submitted for credit by students at the university, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment."

Students should report any condition that facilitates dishonesty to the instructor, department chair, college dean, Student Honor Council, or Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution in the Dean of Students Office.

(Source: 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog)

It is assumed all work will be completed independently unless the assignment is defined as a group project, in writing by the instructor.

This policy will be vigorously upheld at all times in this course.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.

0001 Reid Hall, 352-392-8565,  

Software Use

All faculty, staff and students of the university are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against university policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

Campus Helping Resources

Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. The Counseling & Wellness Center provides confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance.

  • University Counseling & Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, 352-392-1575,

    Counseling Services
    Groups and Workshops
    Outreach and Consultation
    Self-Help Library
    Training Programs
    Community Provider Database

  • Career Resource Center, First Floor JWRU, 392-1601,