Traditionally, engineers used test instruments manually to make measurements and acquire data. However, as testing has evolved to cope with more complex measurement problems, and engineers look to maximize return on investment from expensive instrumentation, software, and training, instrument control is being used to automate test systems. A typical instrument control system uses software on a PC to remotely control and automate instrumentation – either traditional instruments, modular instruments or a combination of both – over an instrument control bus.

This course provides an introduction to instrument control by breaking a typical system down into its basic elements – the test instrument, hardware for connecting the instrumentation and computer together, and software to supervise the system, then present and analyze the results – and explaining how to select and interface the parts. The course backs up this introduction by describing an example application – an D-glucose sensor test system – to illustrate how instrument control works in practice.