Introduction to Sensors

Knowledge of sensors is fundamental for anyone in the field of engineering. Recently, sensors have emerged in consumer electronics (sensors on smartphones), autonomous vehicles (Lidar, Radar, Sonar, Cameras all for navigation), and in other settings. Sensors are everywhere!

This course is an essential introduction to the variety of sensors that are used in engineering practice and in many modern applications. You will learn how to select and use sensors for laboratory experiments and final products, and understand the underlying issues that govern sensor performance.

Introduction to Sensors gives a comprehensive overview of common practice and includes some indication of the directions in which sensor technologies are heading. This course will include a comprehensive descriptions of the fundamental principles of operation of sensors, and highlight how these principles impact the use of sensors for applications.

After taking this class, students should be able to describe and define performance criteria for sensors, and predict and analyze performance for different transducers and sensors. Students will also be able explain the physics of transduction mechanisms, interpret a spec sheet, analyze and interpret sensor output data, and propose a sensor system design to solve a problem.

Topics Include

  • Basics of measurements
  • Emerging applications and technologies
  • Introduction to sensors, as transducers from physical parameters to signals
  • Sensing principles for displacement, force, pressure, acceleration, temperature, optical radiation, nuclear radiation
  • Sensor range, sensitivity, accuracy, repeatability, noise
  • Introduction to common circuits for calibrating and conditioning sensor signals to improve their performance

Online students who take this course will be expected to participate in a lab component that can be completed remotely. This component will rely on sensors commonly found in Smartphones, and provide an opportunity to understand the potential for use of these sensors for a variety of applications.

Course Page
$5,600.00 Subject to change
Online, instructor-led
10 weeks, 12-15 hrs/week
Internet of Things Graduate Certificate Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Graduate Certificate
Stanford School of Engineering