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The aim of this investigation is to build and test a sensor, and explaining the characteristic of a sensor and then designing and assembling a measurement system, and using the sensor to make a measurement.

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Introduction

Sensor Investigation: Aim: The aim of this investigation is to build and test a sensor, and explaining the characteristic of a sensor and then designing and assembling a measurement system, and using the sensor to make a measurement. The practical side of this was the most crucial section, to produce an idea that can be implemented into an experiment to gain measurements. I had to show initiative and independence in carrying out the experiment and investigation; this involved producing a plan deciding on resistor value and then using this idea. Also to use knowledge and understanding of physics to devise and plan experimental activities, selecting appropriate experimental techniques. This is to deduce the apparatus to use and in what way to arrange the circuit. It was also essential to demonstrate safe and skillful practical techniques; this was performed by analysing the plan then highlighting and risk assessing the situation. Moreover, I had to make observations and measurements with appropriate precision and record these methodically; hence, the method of measuring was considered such as using a voltmeter and ammeter but also the conditions on the sensor. The final part was to communicate the results of experimental activities using knowledge and understanding of physics. This will be performed and implemented in the report in the form of tables and graphs. Design Ideas: (1) Using a pressure sensor to be activated when a mass is applied: The problem with this idea was that a range of results could not be gained; it was only on or off. When a mass is applied; for example a buzzer would come on, which did not give a range so a calibration curve could not be produced. ...read more.

Middle

First Exp. Second Exp. Third Exp. Distance (m) p.d (v) current (a) p.d (v) current (a) p.d (v) current (a) Average p.d (v) Average current (a) Resistance (ohms) 0.1 8.92 10 8.92 10 8.91 10 8.92 10 0.89 0.2 6.40 10 6.40 10 6.38 10 6.38 10 0.64 0.3 4.99 10 5.02 10 5.03 10 5.01 10 0.50 0.4 3.65 10 3.62 10 3.63 10 3.63 10 0.36 0.5 3.98 10 3.98 10 3.97 10 3.98 10 0.40 0.6 2.64 10 2.62 10 2.63 10 2.63 10 0.26 0.7 2.50 10 2.53 10 2.53 10 2.52 10 0.25 0.8 2.00 10 2.02 10 2.02 10 2.02 10 0.20 0.9 1.91 10 1.86 10 1.92 10 1.89 10 0.19 1.0 1.79 10 1.80 10 1.8 10 1.80 10 0.18 Its apparent from the manufacturer's production and my own deduction from past scientific knowledge that the results agree with the predictions made. Even though there are anomalies in the results a best fit curve can be drawn to outline the proportionality of resistance to illumination (distance of fan). The graph outlines what we predicted. In the prediction I used past scientific knowledge to deduce a calibration curve of what will happen when the illumination increases (distance of fan from structure increases) compared to the resistance. Its apparent from the graph of the results gained that it agrees with the prediction made in the plan of the report. A clear curve has been produced, which shows that this experiment can aid in producing the characteristics of the sensor. The method of measuring the airflow produces a curve for which this sensor has been calibrated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hence, for the more accurate results and these anomalies to begin to be eliminated it would be useful to perform the test in a dark room. > The structure of windmill model could be changed, because in its current state it catches the wind in one direction but when it spins the wind also interacts with the back of the cups slightly hence making it not function smoothly. The structure change should be like this: In the new design the wind will always blow onto it and it will spin smoothly at a constant speed. > Also the amount of wind change within the room, this could be due to open doors or movement within the room leading to slight changes and affecting the results. To eliminate this, the investigation could be done in an empty room, only one person to measure the results. Hence to eliminate any fluctuation in conditions. Other methods could also be used to measure the airflow: > Use a position sensor that would be positioned behind a pivoted card that would be affected by wind on it. Hence, when the wind blows on it, it would be pushed back on the sensor, hence a voltage value would be gained. The circuit would appear like this: > The same method as I use in the report could be used but this time change the method of more accuracy. Use a motor connected to the piece of card, and the faster the motor moves, the faster the card moves (which has gaps to allow the light to come through), also a psion could also be used with a sensor such as a light gate to measure the speed of its movement at different levels. ...read more.

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