By signal conditioning we mean methods of processing real-world, analog signals prior to conversion into a digital format. This is a crucial process for making analog signals like temperature and vibration intelligible to data acquisition systems or control equipment. If an incoming signal is not optimized for the in-line digitizer via signal conditioning, it can result in measurement inaccuracies and suboptimal levels of performance. 

Different measurement types and sensor architectures have different signal conditioning requirements. For example: low-voltage analog signals will typically need to be amplified and subsequently filtered to reduce background noise, prior to digitization. Other sensors may need to be excited by an external voltage to measure mechanical changes as a function of varying electrical resistivity.

In this blog post, TT Electronics will explore the fundamentals of signal conditioning in greater detail:

Signal Conditioning: Amplification & Attenuation

In the context of electronics, amplification and attenuation are opposites. Analog signals are subject to deterioration during transmission due to background noise. The ratio of signal strength to unwanted background interference is known as the signal-to-noise ratio. Amplification is the process of increasing this ratio by magnifying the voltage level of the input signal. Attenuation, by contrast, is the process of decreasing the input amplitude, for example, to get it to fit within the optimal range of the device digitizer.

Spectrum Filtering & Signal Isolation

Signal conditioning often requires the input signal to be filtered and isolated to remove unwanted background noise and remove voltage signals that are far beyond the range of the in-line digitizer. Filtering is commonly used to reject noise outside of a pre-defined frequency range. Isolation is similar, but it is used primarily to protect the data acquisition or control system from voltage spikes that could damage the equipment.

Signal Linearization

Linearization is a form of signal interpretation that is used when sensor equipment produces signals that do not exhibit a linear relationship to the actual measurement. It is used to map the voltage of the input signal from the sensor against the corresponding value of the physical measurement. This is a common signal conditioning process for industrial temperature measurements.

Signal Conditioning with TT Electronics

TT Electronics is committed to innovation in all areas of engineering and technology, offering a suite of advanced products for some of the highest specification markets worldwide. We offer a broad range of sensors and integrated precision resistor networks with signal conditioning capabilities.

If you would like any more information about signal conditioning with TT Electronics, simply contact a member of our team directly.