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Title: An investigation of microprocessor-based portable instrument architectures
Author: Rowlands, S. L.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1988
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The organization of the electronic sub-systems within a portable, microprocessor-based instrument (that is, the 'architecture') has been investigated. An adaptable instrument which features a modular, general-purpose architecture has been conceived, designed and tested. The influence of the microprocessor and its associated software over every aspect of the instrument design has been given particular consideration. The new architecture is intended to be a platform on which a variety of specific instruments may be based. The instrument is configured to a task by inserting interchangeable analogue circuit boards and appropriate microprocessor firmware. To demonstrate the architecture's flexibility, a temperature-transducer calibrator configuration is described. The calibrator is able to simulate the behaviour of seven popular thermocouples, B, E, J, K, R, S, and T. Improvements have been made to the method of cold-junction compensation and an automatic scheme is presented which takes full advantage of the instrument's microprocessor. A new method of simulating the electrical characteristics of a platinum resistance temperature detector (RTD) is described. The RTD simulator, built on a board plugged into the general-purpose architecture, offers fine resolution, high accuracy and overcomes many of the difficulties encountered when calibrating temperature-measurement systems which use platinum resistance detectors. The calibrator is also able to measure temperature accurately using any of the transducers which it may simulate. To enable many complex functions to be incorporated in a portable instrument of compact size, an efficient, user-friendly man-machine interface has been successfully developed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available