Since most of stimuli are not electrical, from an input to the output, a sensor may have several energy conversion steps before it produces and outputs an electrical signal. For example, pressure inflicted on a fiber optic pressure sensor, first results in strain in the fiber, which, in turn, causes deflection in its refractive index, which, in turn, results in an overall change in optical transmission and modulation of photon density. Finally, photon flux is detected by a photodiode and converted into electric current. In this chapter, we discuss the overall sensor characteristics, regardless of a physical nature or steps that are required to make energy conversions. Here, we consider a sensor as a “black box” where we concern only with relationships between its output electrical signal and input stimulus. Also, we will discuss the key point of sensing: computation of the input stimulus value from a measured sensor’s electric output.
KeywordsTransfer Function Standard Uncertainty Input Stimulus Linear Piecewise Approximation Linear Transfer Function
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