Here are the test & measurement features that got the most interest from readers in 2017.
Why the sky is blue: LiDAR puts a focus on measuring Raleigh scattering
Rayleigh scattering measurements are more than just an academic exercise. Scattering effects, Rayleigh and otherwise, can impact the operation of light-based sensors such as lidar.
Dealing with noise in electronic circuits
The central limit theorem in statistics states that the incredibly rapid variations in the rate of current flow will inevitably conform to a pattern known as the Gaussian Probability Density Function. In a measuring instrument such as an oscilloscope, this random energy is visible to a greater or lesser degree depending on ambient temperature and heat generated within the instrument and in the circuit under investigation.
Budget-priced transistor testing
An oscilloscoope in the XY triggered mode displays Lissajous patterns which can be used to determine the status of a transistor.
Basics of measuring antenna properties
All antennas are characterized by a few performance metrics: input impedance, polarization, directivity, gain, radiation efficiency, and the radiation pattern.
The challenges of HIL testing and ADAS
Engineers running hardware-in-the-loop simulations face difficulties associated with how to devise sensor signals that truly exercise advanced drive assistance systems.
How to measure electrolytic capacitors
An LCR meter applies a sine wave excitation of some selectable frequency to the capacitor, then measures the voltage across the capacitor and the current through it.
Basics of QPSK modulation and generating signals
Quadrature phase-shift keying is now the mainstream method used for modulation in cable modems, satellites, and numerous other wireless communication schemes.
How to test switching power supplies
The chief difficulty when making measurements of an SMPS is that often the waveform of interest is a millivolt-level ripple sitting on top of a signal in the 100-V range.
How to reduce oscilloscope noise during measurements
Several tricks can help reveal small signals that are obscured by measurement system noise.
Basics of measuring inductance
An LCR subjects the device under test (suitably discharged and isolated from any ambient circuitry that could energize it or create irrelevant parallel impedance) to an ac voltage of known frequency, typically one volt RMS at one kilohertz.