The Transducer Science course focuses on energy buffering type transducers that can be used for sensing and actuation (examples: microphones and loudspeakers). The learning aims are that, at the end of the course, the student should:|
1. understand the energy-based description of transduction processes (keywords: two- and multiport systems, intensive and extensive quantities, energy buffering, coupling factor, stability, parametric effects, efficiency, resonance),
2. be able to apply this knowledge to transducers in arbitrary domains, e.g. electrostatic, electromagnetic, electrodynamic and piezoelectric transducers,
3. understand performance metrics of transducers,
4. understand how parametric effects can strongly determine the use and performance of transducers, e.g. electromechanical signal-processing,
5. understand sources and influence of noise
6. be aware of nonlinear effects and potential gains that can be obtained by utilizing these effects, e.g. Stochastic Resonance.
In modern electronic information systems transducers play an increasingly important role; where powerful computing, large data storage and high bandwidth digital communication can be harnessed in ever-shrinking form-factors, transducers are indispensable in the interaction with the environment. On an individual level, there seems to be an insatiable desire to know as much as possible from how much and how we move, our physical condition (blood pressure, heart rate), where we are (GPS), etc. But even more so in technical contexts transduction is at the heart of measurement & data gathering as well as locomotion, e.g. in robotics, process control, medical settings, and automotive. In short: transducers (sensors and actuators) are an integral part of our modern cyber-physical systems. Examples of transducers are loudspeakers, recording-heads for magnetic data-storage, microphones, pressure sensors, electric engines, etcetera. Central to the description of transducers are the concepts of energy, ports, extensive and intensive quantities, Legendre transformation and co-energy, electrostatic-, magnetic-, piezo-electric and mechanical energy-density. Important characteristics of transducers such as energy-conversion efficiency, static and dynamic behaviour as well as stability in loaded and unloaded operation are discussed. The course examines the so-called ‘energy-buffering transducer’ in detail and explores how this type of transducers can beneficially be used to implement parametric effects, such as amplification, mechanical-amplitude modulation, etc. Noise is treated both with respect to its detrimental effects on sensors as well as how it can be effectively used to improve the signal to noise ratio in so-called ‘Stochastic Resonance’ schemes. A few short excursions to the field of bio-mimetics will be made, especially in the context of performance metrics and optimisation.|
In this course, some classical mechanics, network analysis and electromagnetic field theory is used and basic knowledge from other physical domains is refreshed or, if necessary, offered to the students. The course forms valuable prior knowledge for the course MEMS Design (191211300).
The load of the course is compatible with other MSc courses, i.e. 5 European Credits (EC), or equivalently 140 hours.
Depending on group size educational forms may be adapted. The preferred educational format is the so-called Problem Based Learning; in a series of problem assignments students cooperate in groups to come up with solutions and to share their insights with each other and other groups. The problems are formulated loosely (‘ill-posed’) to offer room for exploration and a certain degree of uncertainty with respect to the correct and complete answers is maintained to stimulate student lead learning. These sessions take up about 80 hours of the student’s time. The remaining 60 hours are dedicated to in-depth literature research culminating in a (research) paper. Alternatively, the course may be concluded by means of a group-based short project on a self-chosen subject.
Assumed previous knowledge
|Basic understanding of classical mechanics|
|Master Mechanical Engineering|
|Master Electrical Engineering|
|Master Biomedical Engineering|
|Master Systems and Control||Required materials-Recommended materials|
|Reader Transducers Science (pdf)
Various papers (will be distributed during the course)|
|Problem Based Learning|