ADC & DAC
The bits/volts conversion factor is different for our ADC and DAC. Specifically, I measured the voltage output of the ADC and DAC and, by comparing it to the input and output readings--in bits-- of the computer respectively, I found this relationship to be 1.64bit/mV for the ADC and 3.3bit/mV for the DAC.
HE sensors output range
We also measured the output of the HE to fluctuate at most 100mV in response to the movement of the plate. Given that, a small displacement of the plate that produces roughly 30mV would bring approximately a 18bit change in the ADC output. With the already inherent noise and fluctuation of the bits reading, it is therefore difficult to detect small movements of the plate; it is necessary to boost the HE output after subtracting the HE sensors offset.
The HE sensors signal goes a voltage offset and then a high-pass filter. We will adjust our resistors' values only in the first state, so that the voltage offset more accurately corrects the inherent offset of the sensors and amplifies the output even more. Currently, as described in my first research report, the gain was 1; we will now aim for a gain of 50. I calculated the expression for Vout in the voltage offset configuration to be:
Vout=-(R4/R3)Vin + 5* [R2(R4+R3)/R3(R1+R2)].
A gain of 50 would also increase the inherent offset of the sensors, which would now be about (50*2.5)=12.5V; we also need to fix that. I calculated that if we use R4=50*R3 and R1=19.4*R2, we can get the desired gain, while also appropriately correcting for the offset.
Transfer functions saturation
We measured the transfer function of our damping transfer function: (s+Zo)/[(s+Po)(s+P1)] where Zo<Po<P1. We noticed that the voltage source setting of the spectrum analyzer affected our transfer functions. I extracted and plotted the transfer functions for three different voltage sources: 10mV, 100mV and 500mV which are shown in this order below. We are unsure as to why that happens.