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Unit Overview


This unit covers concepts relating to measurement and noise, enabling students to understand the issues required to achieve high-quality measurements. Topics include accuracy, precision, repeatability, calibration, uncertainty and signal noise. Measurements from a range of sensors (mechanical, optical, electrical) are introduced and subsequent signal conditioning (operational amplifiers, instrumentation amplifiers) are addressed with the aim of maximising signal quality. Statistical methods are discussed to better understand noise processes and how signal noise can be minimised. Methods to improve signal quality (signal to noise ratio) are discussed. Measurement signal and noise are analysed in both the time and frequency domain to better understand the connection between two domains and the importance of measurement bandwidth. Sampling is reviewed to understand the impact of moving from continuous-time (CT) and discrete-time (DT), including discussion of the Nyquist rate and aliasing. The conversion between the analogue to digital domains including CT-DT, system transfer functions, spectral analysis (discrete Fourier transform, discrete-time Fourier transform) and the construction of finite and infinite impulse response filters to reduce noise is discussed.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Automation and Robotics Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering major sequences

Students are able to (1) explain measurement concepts; (2) use information from instrumentation specifications to design experiments; (3) achieve high-quality measurements using appropriate collection and data manipulation methods; (4) present data numerically and in graphical form in a manner that is clear and concise and includes the uncertainty associated with the measurement; (5) move between the time and frequency domains to interpret measurements and minimise signal noise; (6) assess instrumentation characteristics that affect data collection and measurement; and (7) analyse data in a manner that includes the uncertainty associated with the measurement.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) laboratories; (2) quizzes; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Adrian Keating
Unit rules
CITS1401 Computational Thinking with Python
or CITX1401 Computational Thinking with Python
or CITS2401 Computer Analysis and Visualisation (ID 343)
and ENSC2004 Engineering Mechanics (ID 7437) and
MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods (ID 6013)
or MATX1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods
and GENG2000 Engineering Practice 2
and Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
MECH4424 Measurement and Noise (ID 2625)
Contact hours
lectures/information sessions: 3 hours per week
practical classes: 1 hour per week
labs: 2 hours per week
It is recommended that students are familiar with the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program as Excel will be used to perform calculations in assessments/labs.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.