Intelligent Sensors

Academic year
Subject Area
Robotics, Control and Systems
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

- Computer programming

- Electronics

- Embedded Systems 

Teaching Methods

Master classes for theoretical presentation of the program contents using audiovisual media. Theoretical-practical classes to demonstrate various concepts taught in lectures and laboratory classes, for implementation and presentation of the partial results of smart sensor projects, implemented by each working group throughout the semester.

Learning Outcomes

The Smart Sensors course aims to provide students with fundamental knowledge necessary for the design and development of smart sensors. To achieve this objective, the student should learn the main methods of transduction and signal conditioning as well as being able to use embedded systems based on microcontrollers capable of signal acquisition, processing and data communication. This knowledge should give the student the ability to design, implement and program a smart sensor of medium complexity and integrate this sensor in a monitoring or distributed control system with ability to interface with high-level computers.

Work Placement(s)



Theoretical program

1.         Introduction to smart sensors

2.         Characteristics and performance parameters of the sensors

3.         Principles of physical transduction and main types of sensors

4.         Circuits for advanced signal conditioning

5.         Sensory data processing

6.         Sensor Networks


Laboratory program

1.         Microcontrollers: interfacing and programming

2.         Sensors based on time and frequency measurement

3.         Signal conditioning based on switched circuits

4.         Voltage references and signal acquisition

5.         Phase and synchronous detection

6.         Calibration, linearization and compensation

7.         Sensor Networks

Head Lecturer(s)

Lino José Forte Marques

Assessment Methods

Laboratory work or Field work: 35.0%
Exam: 65.0%


Bibliografia principal:

•          Jacob Fraser, “Handbook of Modern Sensors: Physics, Designs, and Applications”, 5th ed. Springer (2016)

•          Lino Marques, “Manual laboratorial de Sensores Inteligentes”, Universidade de Coimbra, 2018.

•          Lino Marques, “Slides de suporte às aulas de sensores inteligentes”, 2007-2018


Bibliografia complementar:

•          Ramón Pallás-Areny, John G. Webster, “Sensors and Signal Conditioning", 2nd ed, Wiley, 2000.

•          John P Bentley, "Principles of Measurement Systems", 4th ed, Pearson (2005)

•          Walt Kester, et al, “Sensor Signal Conditioning”, Analog Devices, 2002. (online:

•          Mark Johnson, "Photodetection and Measurement: Maximizing Performance in Optical Systems", McGraw-Hill (2003)

•          Lucio Di Jasio, "Programming 16-Bit PIC Microcontrollers in C: Learning to Fly the PIC 24", 2nd ed. Newnes (2011)