Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2018/2019
Scuola Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione
Insegnamento 095251 - SIGNAL RECOVERY
Docente Rech Ivan
Cfu 10.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The course is intended not just to lead students to know and properly describe the electronic techniques and instrumentation developed for recovering sensor signals from noise, but rather to gain a good insight in the problems faced and the approaches developed to overcome them. This implies to critically evaluate the solutions, avoiding the attitude where sensors and electronics are designed and employed just according to the established rules and standards. It is instead necessary to clarify the reasons of the choices and decisions in the light of the physics of phenomena involved, of the basic principles of signal and noise processing and of the actual performance of the available devices. It is necessary to clearly distinguish the intrinsic limitations set by physical laws from the current limitations set by the state of the art, which can be overcome by the technological progress. In essence, to gain insight means to progress at the pace of the technology evolution and be able to contribute to it.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

Dublin Descriptors

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Students will learn how to:

  • comprehensively understand the principles of signal and noise filtering
  • Identify the theoretical best filters
  • Understand the working principle of the most common filters
  • Understand and manage the issues related to the 1/f noise
  • Have a basic knowledge of the physics of photodiodes, phototube, strain gauges and temperature sensors

Applying knowledge and understanding

Given specific project cases, students will be able to:

  • Apply appropriate techniques in the design of different types of filter to meet given specification
  • Select sensors and front-end electronics suitable for the specific application
  • Perform the calculation of the obtainable signal to noise ratio
  • Analyze and comment on specific architectural choices
  • Apply the theory to assess the availability of a best filter

Argomenti trattati

Signals and noise. Introduction to measurements, errors and statistical distributions. Mathematical treatment of signals and noise in the time and in the frequency domain. Signal-to-Noise ratio (S/N). Autocorrelation functions, energy and power spectra. Noise sources in electronic circuits and sensors. Main types of noise spectra. Noise interpretation and modeling with statistical pulse sequences.

Extracting signals from noise. Linear filters with constant parameters and with time-variant parameters, action on signals and noise and resultant S/N. Pulse-signals and constant-parameter low-pass filters; Gated Integrator (GI); Boxcar Integrator (BI); Sample-and-Hold (S&H) and fast samplers; discrete filtering by sampling and weighted average of samples. Optimum filtering for pulse-amplitude measurements, significance and practical usefulness. Noise with 1/f spectrum: characteristic features and ensuing problems, filtering approach. Constant-parameter high-pass filters; correlated double sampling (CDS) and further developments; Baseline Restorer (BLR). Periodic signals and constant-parameter resonant filters; modulation of signals and noise; Lock-in Amplifier (LIA), analog and digital implementations of LIAs.

Sensors are treated by discussing the physical principles of their operation; the device structure and technology; characteristic features and electrical parameters; output signals and information content; equivalent electric circuit; internal noise. Photodetectors: vacuum tube and semiconductor photodiodes; photoconductors; Photomultiplier tubes (PMT), avalanche photodiodes (APD) and single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD); analog and digital detection, single-photon counting (SPC) and time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC). Temperature Sensors: thermocouples and thermo resistances; semiconductor junction sensors. Strain and Force Sensors: strain gauges and piezoelectric sensors.


Foundations of electronic circuits and semiconductor devices. Foundations of signals and transmission. Basic knowledge of probability and statistics. General background in mathematics and physics.

Modalità di valutazione

Assessment will be based on a final exam consisting of a 2-hours, closed-book written exam, typically including two problems related to practical applications and theoretical questions.

Students who pass the written exam with a score above 26/30 may take an optional oral exam to adjust the final grade. The oral exam has no positive or negative limits in the adjustment of the written exam result.


Type of assessment


Dublin descriptor

Written exam

Solution of numerical problems

  • Computation of signal to noise ratio in the particular application
  • Minimum detectable signal estimation
  • Sensor performances calculation


Exercises focusing on design aspects

  • Selection and design of filters for the specific applications
  • Definition of minimum required performance of specific kind of sensor


Open-answer theoretical/practical questions on any topic of the course.






1, 2

Oral exam

Theoretical/practical questions drawn from any topic of the course.



Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaTexts, figures and documentation that cover all the course program http://home.deib.polimi.it/rech/Index.html

Complete set of slides employed in the lectures; Text and explanation of problems given in the written tests carried out in previous years; Papers, presentations, technical documentation, suggested references and websites dealing with signal recovery, sensors and measurement instrumentation

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaSergio Cova, Notes and Bibliography for the course "Signal recovery", Editore: Libreria Cortina, Anno edizione: 2014
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaT.H. Wilmshurst, Signal recovery from noise in electronic instrumentation, 2nd edition, Editore: A. Hilger - IOP Publishing Ltd, Anno edizione: 1990, ISBN: 0-7503-0058-2
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaSilvano Donati, Photodetectors: Devices, Circuits and Applications, Editore: Prentice Hall, Anno edizione: 2000, ISBN: 0130203378

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 100:00 150:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese
schedaincarico v. 1.6.5 / 1.6.5
Area Servizi ICT