Data acquisition and processing

Physics, First Cycle
Educational Physics
3 year
first or second
slovenian, english
Hours per week – 1. or 2. semester:
Content (Syllabus outline)

From signal to result
Sensors: temperature, light, displacement, acceleration, pressure, flow, mechanical strain.
Data acquisition: pre-processing and filtering, impedance matching, band pass of the measurement system.
AD/DA converters: AD and DA techniques, data acquisition systems, convertor properties, the selection and use of ADC.
Basics of microcontrollers: properties, block diagram, input and output units, timing units, other peripheral units.
Personal computer: sound card, RS232, RS422, GPIB, PCI, USB.
Acquisition: sampling, Nyquist criteria, frequency aliasing.
Basics of digital data processing: FFT, digital filtering, convolution, FIR, IIR.
Applications in data processing: modulation and demodulation (AM, FM, PM), measurement (amplitude, phase, frequency, period), oscillators.
Basics of programmable logic circuits: CPLD and PFHA architecture, examples of the use, basics of programming language VHDL.


Izbrana poglavja iz knjig:
The Scientist and Engeneer's Guide to Digital Signal processing, S.W. Smith, California Technical Publishing, San Diego.
Uporaba mikroračunalnikov v merjenjih, Likar, DMFA;
Interfacing Sensors to the IBM PC, W.J. Thompson, J.G. Webster, Prentice Hall;
The DSP Handbook, A. Bateman, I. Paterson-Stephens, Prentice Hall

Objectives and competences

the acquisition of basic skills on capturing experimental data, the conversion from analog into digital form and back, and data processing.
the use of digital data acquisition and processing systems,
the programming of digital computers for acquisition and digital processing,
the selection of componets for signal acquisition and processing.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Knowledge of basic sensors and their operational principles. Knowledge and understanding of basic AD conversion, building blocks and basic techniques for data acquisition.
The acquired knowledge on data capturing and processing is intended as a basis for the contemporary measurement, automatization and data processing.
Highly experimental, and user-oriented course, that will benefit all students who wish to work in physical and technical laboratories.
Transferable skills:
Strong link to all practicum courses.

Learning and teaching methods

Lecturing, practikum, project tasks, consultations


project task and
oral examination (theory)
Grades: 1-5 (no-pass), 6-10 (pass) (Statut UL)

Lecturer's references

PONIKVAR, Dušan. A simple subnanosecond light pulser. IEEE trans. nucl.
sci., 2012, vol. 59, no. 6, str. 3218-3220. [COBISS-SI-ID 2552420],

  • ZAMPIERI, L., ČADEŽ, Andrej, PONIKVAR, Dušan. The Crab pulsar seen with
    AquEYE at Asiago Cima Ekar observatory. Advances in Space Research.
    [Online ed.], 2011, let. 47, št. 2, str. 365-369. [COBISS-SI-ID 362881],

  • PONIKVAR, Dušan. Tools and setups for experiments with AC and rotating
    magnetic fields. Eur. j. phys., 2010, vol. 31, no. 5, str. 1255-1266, doi:
    10.1088/0143-0807/31/5/025. [COBISS-SI-ID 2271076],

  • PONIKVAR, Dušan, PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd. Conservation of mechanical and
    electric energy : simple experimental verification. Eur. j. phys., 2009, vol.
    30, no. 1, str. 47-56, doi: 10.1088/1043-0807/30/1/005. [COBISS-SI-ID

  • PONIKVAR, Dušan. Teaching and field work for IAEA : nuclear electronics and
    instrumentation 1989-2007. V: IAEA Meeting on the Role and Utilization of
    the Regional Resource Centres : 2nd-6th of June 2008, Vienna, Austria.
    Vienna: IAEA, 2008, 14 str. [COBISS-SI-ID 2128740],