Course code IST6
Course title e-lab - Remotely controlled physics laboratories
Institution Instituto Superior Tecnico Lisboa
Course address Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
City Lisbon
Minimum year of study 3rd year
Minimum level of English Good
Minimum level of French None
Key words Electronic instrumentation, remote controlled instrumentation, data acquisition and analysis, microprocessors, physics experiments
Language English
Professor responsible HorĂ¡cio Fernandes
Telephone +351 218417691
Fax +351 218417819
Participating professors

André Duarte, Bernardo Carvalho, Carlos Silva, Horácio Fernandes, João Fortunato, Pedro Lourenço, Pedro Sebastião, Ruben Marques, Rui Neto, Samuel Balula

Number of places Minimum: 6, Maximum: 16, Reserved for local students: 0

This course is intended to provide to students all the knowledge in how to execute experiments in the e-lab laboratory and to use several techniques and software tools to analyze and process the acquired data.

It is expected that students will acquired basic skills in Octave or MatLab, namely FFT, SVD (singular value decomposition) and advanced fitting techniques. This will be a 1-week course organized within the ATHENS programme.

At the end of the course the students should know:

(i) Run and acquire data from a remote experiment;

(ii) Handle data and do their data analysis;

(iii) How video is broadcast through a multicast unit;

(iv) Understand how a physic apparatus could be converted in a remote laboratory.

We are promoting thematic experiments such as Plasma Physics, energy conservation and others.

The course has a total duration of 35 hours divided in 4 major blocks. Theoretical classes will be laboratory oriented as most of the course will be practice. Some topics will be given as seminars.

Programme to be followed

- Remote controlled laboratories (RCL) in context;

- Introduction to e-lab and avaiable experiments;

- Data fitting and analysis tool;

- The physics behind each experiment: an applied e-lab experience

- Introduction to data analysis (FFT, SVD and advanced data fittings);

- Transducers and sensors behind RCLs;

- Experiments automation;

- Impact of video broadcast.

The student’s assessment consists in two different tasks:

(i) Each group of two students shall do a presentation based on an experimental chosen apparatus, and show how the apparatus works, how to gather data and study all the data analysis and processing done based on the acquired data.

(ii) Also each group of two students shall choose another experimental apparatus and produce a media content that they find relevant and interesting for that experiment, which can be included in an online wiki-style site.


Physics or engineering degree students; the students should have completed courses on programming and general physics.

Course exam 4 hours laboratory exam.