615.647.1126 - Fundamentals of Sensors

Applied Physics
Spring 2023


Students will receive an overview of sensors and methods to build networks and systems using sensors. The physics of detectors including fundamental technologies and sampling interfaces will be discussed. Sensor technologies for chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological detection will be studied in detail. Evaluation methods will be presented for sensor selection based on application-specific information including sensor performance, environmental conditions, and operational impact. DODAF 2.0 methods will be taught and a project based on several viewpoints will be required and presented. Additional studies will include methods for combining results from various sensors to increase detection confidence. As part of the course, students will be given a threat scenario and will be required to select a sensor suite and networking information to design a hypothetical system considering the threat, sensor deployment cost, and logistics. Prerequisite(s): An undergraduate degree in engineering, physics, or a related technical discipline.


Course Structure

Nominal organization of each four-hour lecture period is two hours for Dr. Lesho's topics, one hour for Dr. Sain's topics, and the remaining time is used for activities, including short in-class exercises or working on group projects.

Course Topics

Details of sensor operation
DoDAF Frameworks
Threat Assessments
System Architecture Artifact selection
Design Reviews
CBRN Sensors
EO/IR Sensors
UAV Autonomy
Sensor Selection

Course Goals

 Activities in the class will include systems architecture, technical modelling, trade studies, creating design specifications, technical writing and presentation.


The Handbook of Modern Sensors:  Physics, Designs and Applications 

Student Coursework Requirements

Homework - 30% -  Three Take home assignments- Collabration encouraged, but must be detailed.   
Mid-Term 15% -  Take home - individual effort
Final - 20% - Take home - individual effort
Project - 20%  -  This is a group project, but with clear individual deliverables.  
Zoom Participation - 15% - Effort is required to make Zoom classes interactive and engaging.

Grading Policy

EP uses a +/- grading system (see “Grading System”, Graduate Programs catalog, p. 10).

Score RangeLetter Grade
100-97= A+
96-93= A
92-90= A−
89-87= B+
86-83= B
82-80= B−
79-77= C+
76-73= C
72-70= C−
69-67= D+
66-63= D
<63= F

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.