During my university training and my subsequent career as a chemical engineer with British Petroleum, I was constantly involved with instrumentation, as it is a major feature of the chemical engineering discipline. When I became a freelance technical author, I continued to be involved with instruments on a variety of projects. These have included the following:
I have worked on the documentation of computer-controlled data loggers for general industrial use, water industry, agriculture and meteorology. This has included equipment that is capable of operating for long periods outdoors in all weather conditions.
In addition to data loggers for the water industry, I have written documentation of various types if instruments, including flowmeters, pressure sensors and water quality monitors that measure chlorine content, dissolved oxygen and other properties. I have documented the data collection software which might run locally, from a laptop computer, or at a central station where the results are collected by remote telemetry.
I have worked on the documentation of signal processing and vibration control equipment, according to BS5750 standards. Signal processors are used to analyse complex vibrations and signals, breaking them down into their sinusoidal components and harmonics, and distinguishing between meaningful signals and random noise.
Vibration control systems are used to test specimens to see how they respond to vibration and shock that might occur during regular use and transportation. The vibration control system is connected to a power amplifier and shaker table, on which a specimen is placed. An accelerometer is mounted on the specimen to measure the actual vibration experienced. The measured signal is fed back to the vibration control system forming a closed loop, and the output signal is automatically adjusted to obtain the desired vibration profile. When the test is complete, the specimen is inspected to see if there has been any damage. I was involved with the complete documentation of this control system and the output signals that could be produced.
I would be interested in documentation projects on any type of instrumentation. Please get in touch with me if you have any enquiries.
Updated April 2002
Mike Gascoigne, Write_on
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