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MECH5701: Computers in Real Time Control and Instrumentation (2011 - Semester 1)

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Unit: MECH5701: Computers in Real Time Control and Instrumentation (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Professor Nebot, Eduardo
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: MECH4730.
Brief Handbook Description: Syllabus Summary: Review of sensing, analogue and digital electronics, and overview of the IBM PC architecture. Programming for interactive control using both assembly language and high level languages. Timers and asynchronous tasks; data communication. Data structures for real-time programming. Multitasking and real time operating systems. Use of multi-tasking, message passing and multi-threading in environments such as NT and/or Unix. Object-oriented programming in C++. Design of interactive graphical displays; man-machine communication.

Objectives: Microcomputer and microprocessor system, operating in real time have become very common components in today's engineering applications. The objective of this unit of study is to teach the fundamentals of real time software and to build competence in the engineering use of such systems through lectures emphasising standard computer architectures, real-time operating systems and programming, and through intensive laboratory work with microcomputer systems interacting with experimental mechatronic processes.

Expected outcomes: The student will have a basic knowledge of the hardware components available in a microcomputer system and a detailed knowledge of facilities and capabilities typically present in a professional real time operating system. The student will have the competence to design, implement and debug real-time multitasking systems with graphical user interfaces.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Timetable: MECH5701 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: one 3hr lab/tut)per week

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Design and conduct experiment to analyse the performance of the system, detect problems and implement solution to these problems Design and Problem Solving Skills (Level 2)
Student will gain expertise in state of the art real time operating systems Discipline Specific Expertise (Level 4)
Effective communication techniques that emphasize clear presentation ideas, approaches and solution to technical and non technical personnel Professional Communication (Level 4)
Develop the skills to work in a team. Learn how to distribute tasks, monitoring progress to deliver successful demonstration at a due date. Teamwork and Project Management (Level 4)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering/IT Graduate Attribute Matrix 2009.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design and Problem Solving Skills (Level 2)
1. To be able to select appropriate software platforms for a given image processing task
2. To be able to debug a complete real time system
Discipline Specific Expertise (Level 4)
3. To be able to design, plan and implement a large real time software system
4. To understand the complexity of real time programming
Professional Communication (Level 4)
5. To be able to present / demonstrate a real time system in time.
6. To be able to report results in a professional manner.
Teamwork and Project Management (Level 4)
7. To be able to monitor and control the progress towards a due day working in a group
8. To be able to organize and distribute tasks in a large software project
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment Yes 50.00 Week 13 3,
2 Final Exam No 50.00 Exam Period 3,
Assessment Description: Assignment: Laboratory Work / Demonstrations

Final Exam: Comprehensive Final Exam
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: Policies regarding academic honesty and plagiarism, special consideration and appeals in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies can be found on the Faculty's policy page at Faculty policies are governed by Academic Board resolutions whose details can be found on the Central Policy Online site at

Policies regarding assessment formatting, submission methods, late submission penalties and assessment feedback depend on the unit of study. Details of these policies, where applicable, should be found above with other assessment details.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture
Week 2 Lab 1
Lab 1
Week 3 Lecture
Lab 2
Week 4 Lab 2
Lab 2
Week 5 Lecture
Lab 2
Week 6 Lab 3
Lab 3
Week 7 Lab 3
Lab 3
Week 8 Lab 4
Week 9 Lab 4
Lab 4
Week 10 lecture
Lab 5
Week 11 lab 5
Lab 5
Week 12 Lab 5
Lab 5
Week 13 Report Lab 5 due
Assessment Due: Assignment
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Biomedical Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Biomedical Engineering 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Biomedical - Chemical and Biomolecular Major 2015
Biomedical - Electrical Major 2015
Biomedical - Information Technology Major 2015
Biomedical - Mechanical Major 2015
Master of Engineering (2024 and earlier) 2013
Master of Professional Engineering (Biomedical) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design and Problem Solving Skills (Level 2) Yes 0%
Discipline Specific Expertise (Level 4) Yes 100%
Professional Communication (Level 4) Yes 0%
Teamwork and Project Management (Level 4) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering/IT Graduate Attribute Matrix 2009 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering/IT Graduate Attribute Matrix 2009 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.