Course Title: Interface Technology and System Control

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Interface Technology and System Control

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Johan du Plessis

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2144

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course is the second of a suite of three data acquisition and processing courses. Its prerequisite is PHYS1081 – Introduction to Graphical Programming for Data Acquisition and Control.

Course Description

Experimental scientists have to acquire, process and interpret data. A suite of three courses has been designed to address these general tasks. This course builds on the concepts found in a previous course (The introduction to Graphical Programming and Data Acquisition). The emphasis in the present course is on various types of sensors and the signal conditioning needed before the conditioned signal can be acquired by the computer. Signal processing will be then discussed in more detail (smoothing, filtering, differentiation, integration, convolution, background subtraction etc). All these aspects will then be combined in the final topic of system control where different feedback control algorithms (discrete state, PID analog controllers, PID digital controllers, fuzzy controllers) will discussed. All concepts will be tested in appropriate laboratory-based projects.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
• analyse a particular measurement situation and choose and implement the correct sensor.
• design a graphical user interface or virtual instrument (VI) using LabView to address the interface card to measure the output from the transducer,
• process the measured signals using appropriate available mathematical routines
• display these signals meaningfully in the user interface
• use the input signal to analyse the process under investigation
• implement the correct feedback control algorithm to control the process within the set limits
• provide appropriate manual and automatic settings to control the process
• provide adequate and useful documentation regarding the VI
• report their work in a clear and precise way through formal reports and oral presentations;
• analyse and discuss their own and peer work in a seminar environment in order to promote critical thinking.

Overview of Learning Activities

Students will gain experience in this course by means of:
• attending lectures
• taking part in self-paced lectures
• undertaking problems and exercises in the laboratory;
• active participation in group project work;
• participation in seminar discussion.

Overview of Learning Resources

The Distributed Learning system (DLS) will be used to supply lecture notes and laboratory manuals. Prescribed texts and references will be available through the RMIT Bookshop or Library. Students will also use laboratory equipment and computer software within the School during project and assignment work.

Overview of Assessment

There will be progressive assessments throughout the semester, comprising laboratory project assessment and group project presentations, as well as a final examination. The assessment will address all the capabilities listed above.