MT2IEM-Instrumentation for Environmental Measurements

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: MT12C Skills for Environmental Science PH101 Physics of the Natural World
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: MT24B Atmospheric Physics
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Chris Westbrook


Type of module:

Summary module description:
Principles underpinning environmental instrumentation and its use in environmental measurement systems

This module aims to educate students in the nature of sensors and advanced instrumentation used in environmental measurements and its limitations, as applied to obtaining sophisticated measurements of the natural environment at the surface and in the atmosphere.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will:

• understand and recognized the elements needed in obtaining environmental measurements, from the sensor to the final data file;

• develop understanding of the basic electronic systems and modules forming a measurement system and the signal conditioning typically required;

• recognise how to an implement appropriate data logging strategy, in terms of sampling rate and resolution, for the measurements sought.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

• Introduction to typical environmental sensors generating electrical outputs;

• Signal processing electronics (voltage amplifiers, resistance to voltage convertors, current to voltage convertors, analogue filtering);

• The microcontroller (and microcontroller) as a bespoke programmable system for signal processing, sensor data transfer and data acquisition (especially as referred to radiosonde measurement systems);

&b ull; Implementation of an environmental data logging system, including remote power provision, durability, sampling strategy, data transmission and retrieval Data analysis at the data logger stage (mean, median and outlier removal strategies, variability; Fourier analysis).



Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

10 x 50 minute lectures; 5 x 4 hour laboratory practical sessions developing and deploying elements (2 hours contact time to support this) of a small measurement system.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Practicals classes and workshops 22
Guided independent study: 68
Total hours by term 0 100 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Lecture material assessed by class test; Laboratory work assessed by laboratory reports.

Formative assessment methods:

Formative feedback will be provided on laboratory notebooks.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of coursework.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 16 June 2020


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