Instrumentation - Definition

Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary says (as its last definition of Instrumentation), "The design, construction, and provision of instruments for measurement, control, etc; the state of being equipped with or controlled by such instruments collectively." It notes that this use of the word originated in the U.S.A. in the early 20th century. More traditional uses of the word were associated with musical or surgical instruments. While the word is traditionally a noun, it is also used as an adjective (as instrumentation engineer, instrumentation amplifier and instrumentation system). Other dictionaries note that the word is most common in describing aeronautical, scientific or industrial instruments.

The utility of the word has somewhat decreased as sensors and control have become ubiquitous. A modern smart phone contains sensors and supporting electronics with all of the classical elements of an instrumentation system. An embedded accelerometer may determine the display orientation. The touch screen and digital camera are complex sensors. A common application is for the phone to read and interpret a 2-D bar code (matrix code, QR code) and to take action based on that interpretation.

Measurement instruments have three traditional classes of use:

  • Monitoring of processes and operations
  • Control of processes and operations
  • Experimental engineering analysis

While these uses appear distinct, in practice they are less so. All measurements have the potential for decisions and control. A home owner may change a thermostat setting in response to a utility bill computed from meter readings.

Read more about this topic:  Instrumentation

Other articles related to "definition, definitions":

Definition of Dietary Fiber
... to be the components of plants that resist human digestive enzymes, a definition that includes lignin and polysaccharides ... The definition was later changed to also include resistant starches, along with inulin and other oligosaccharides ... Official definition of dietary fiber differs a little among different institutions Organization (reference) Definition Institute of Medicine Dietary fiber consists of ...
Sustainable Development - Definition
... the Brundtland Report, which included what is now one of the most widely recognised definitions "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present ... It offers an integrated vision and definition of strong sustainability ... It generates a more nuanced definition of sustainable development “the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the ...
ESPN - High Definition
... ESPN launched its 720p high-definition simulcast, originally branded as ESPNHD, on March 20, 2001 ... studio shows, along with most live events on ESPN, use high definition ... from non-HD sources is presented in a standard definition, 43 format with stylized pillarboxes ...
Pashtun People - Pashtuns Defined
... These three definitions may be described as the ethno-linguistic definition, the religious-cultural definition, and the patrilineal definition, respectively ...
Definition - In Medicine
... In medical dictionaries, definitions should to the greatest extent possible be simple and easy to understand, preferably even by the general public ...

Famous quotes containing the word definition:

    The very definition of the real becomes: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction.... The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced. The hyperreal.
    Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929)

    According to our social pyramid, all men who feel displaced racially, culturally, and/or because of economic hardships will turn on those whom they feel they can order and humiliate, usually women, children, and animals—just as they have been ordered and humiliated by those privileged few who are in power. However, this definition does not explain why there are privileged men who behave this way toward women.
    Ana Castillo (b. 1953)

    I’m beginning to think that the proper definition of “Man” is “an animal that writes letters.”
    Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1832–1898)