Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Microsystems

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics

DESCRIPTION This study-unit introduces general principles of operation of signal processing and microsensors for embedded systems.

The various microsensor types are discussed including thermal, radiation, mechanical, magnetic, biochemical, electrostatic and piezo microsensors. The applications of microsensors in smart devices like mobile phones and smart vehicles are highlighted. Smart microsensors and MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) are discussed with focus on accelerometers, microphones, gyros and medical applications.

Various microactuator types are also discussed including electrical, magnetic, thermal, optical, mechanical and chemical microactuators.

This study-unit also presents an introduction to the processing of microsensor raw signals to transform them into useful information. Hence general concepts of interfacing, acquiring and analyzing microsensor data, calibration and errors in the micro scale are discussed.

The general concepts of graphical programming applied to signals and microsensors for embedded systems are also introduced.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims at providing the student with an understanding of the general concepts of signals and microsensors for embedded systems.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Classify different types of microsensors and microactuators;
• Describe the operation of various microsensors and microactuators;
• Demonstrate the functionality and use of Smart Microsensors and Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS);
• Integrate the general concepts of microsensor signal processing, interfacing, acquiring and analysing microsensor data, calibration and errors in the microscale;
• Design basic graphical programs for microsensing and microactuation.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Demonstrate how various microsensors and microactuators work;
• Envisage which microsensor and microactuator can be used in a given application;
• Create basic microsensing and microactuation tools using graphical programmes;
• Design a basic microsystem using introductory concepts of signal acquisition and processing.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

1. Julian Gardner, Vijay K. Varadan, Osama Awadelkarim, “Microsensors, MEMS and Smart Devices”, Wiley (2013), ISBN-13: 978-8126540822
2. James McClellan, Ronald Schafer, Mark Yoder, 'DSP First’ Prentice Hall, (2015), ISBN-13: 978-0136019251
3. John Essick, “Hands-On Introduction to LabVIEW for Scientists and Engineers”, 3rd Edition Oxford University Press (2015), ISBN-13: 978-0190211899

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Blended Learning

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Practical SEM2 No 15%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 35%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Nicholas Joseph Sammut (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.