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Sensors, Noise & Filters - ELE00044I

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Yihua Hu
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

This module is concerned with the processing and digitisation of electronic signals from sensors. It includes techniques for analysing AC circuits using phasors and complex impedances, the effects of non-ideal passive components, and the design of filters. Noise in electronic circuits and the specification and construction of filters to optimise the signal-to-noise ratio of digitised signals are described, along with techniques to optimise the performance of analogue-to-digital converters. The module uses several common sensor types as examples, including pressure, light, proximity and temperature sensors.

Related modules

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To provide an introduction to AC circuit analysis, poles and zeros, transfer functions and transient responses.

  • To introduce circuit noise, and the tools required to quantify noise from resistors, diodes and op-amp circuits, crosstalk from wires, and pick-up from external electromagnetic fields.

  • To introduce noise mitigation techniques, including balanced signals, shielding and the design of optimum filters.

  • To introduce common analogue sensor types, including displacement (linear and rotary), proximity, pressure, light, temperature and humidity sensors, and techniques for digitising their output.

Graduate skills aims:

  • To develop skills in complex numeric and algebraic techniques

  • To further develop professional laboratory working practices

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Analyse and design reactive networks to implement optimum filters

  • Calculate the noise expected from op-amp circuits, and design circuits for minimum noise

  • Design low-noise signal transmission systems

  • Interface a range of sensors to a microcontroller system and describe their operation

  • Specify appropriate sensors for a wire range of applications

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • State technical concepts concisely and accurately

  • Apply a range of mathematical techniques to given problems

Module content

AC circuit analysis, Bode plots. Frequency responses and transient responses. Resonance and the Q-factor. Sensors (temperature, humidity, pressure, rotation, linear displacement). Active filters and noise. Optimum filtering for signal recovery in noise. Active rectifiers and amplitude detection, techniques for frequency detection in microcontrollers. Circuit noise and quantisation noise. Offset voltages and instrumentation amplifiers. Aliasing and the sampling theorem. EMC and countermeasures (shielding, balanced signals).

Professional Practice embedded into this module:

  • Health and Safety (Safe working voltages)
  • Testing and Measurement (oscilloscopes, accuracy, precision, repeatability)
  • Laboratory Practice (soldering, prototyping, lab-books)
  • Personal and Group Skills (problem-solving; question formulation, debugging)


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam
Sensors, Noise & Filters
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam
Sensors, Noise & Filters
N/A 100

Module feedback

The Department of Electronic Engineering aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. Students are provided with their examination results within 20 working days of the end of any given examination period. The Department will also endeavour to return all coursework feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline. The Department would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The Department will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Indicative reading

Electronics, A Systems Approach, Neil Storey, Pearson Education

Fundamentals of Electric Circuits, C.K. Alexander and M.N.O Sadiku, McGraw-Hill Education

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.