Late-night reading: Synthetic instruments

What are synthetic instruments? According to a new book, Synthetic Instruments: Concepts and Applications, the new technology of synthetic instruments promises to be among the most significant advancement in electronic test and instrumentation in recent times and will profoundly affect all test and measurement equipment developed in the future.

09/16/2004


What are synthetic instruments? According to a new book, Synthetic Instruments: Concepts and Applications , the new technology of synthetic instruments promises to be among the most significant advancement in electronic test and instrumentation in recent times and will profoundly affect all test and measurement equipment developed in the future.

Author Chris Nadovich, Owner, Julia Thomas Associates, Sellersville, PA, explains that synthetic instruments are implemented purely in software that runs on general purpose, non-specific measurement hardware with a high speed A/D and D/A at its core. In a synthetic instrument, the software is specific; the hardware is generic. Therefore, the "personality" of a synthetic instrument can be changed in an instant. A voltmeter may be a spectrum analyzer a few seconds later, and then become a power meter, or network analyzer, or oscilloscope. Totally different instruments are implemented on the same hardware and can be switched back and forth in the blink of an eye.

The book explains the basics of synthetic instrumentation for anyone who may need to come up to speed with this new paradigm. It demystifies the subject by cutting through commercial hype and jargon to reveal the underlying concepts that show how synthetic instrument design, when properly executed, can effectively create instrumentation that outperforms any equipment being used today.

The book (ISBN: 0-7506-7783-X ) is published by Elsevier Books and costs $49.95. Click here to read more .

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering, jkatzel@reedbusiness.com





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