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Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 823 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Background Noise

The total noise floor from all sources of interference in a measurement system, independent of the presence of a data signal.

Backlash

The general name given to a form of dead band that results from a temporary discontinuity between the input and output of a device when the input of the device changes direction. Slack, or looseness of a mechanical connection is a typical example.

Backup

A system, device, file or facility that can be used as an alternative in case of a malfunction or loss of data.

Balance

The change in the position of an analog pointer from zero when the axis of the moving element moves from the vertical position to the horizontal position. The balance is expressed as a percentage of the scale length.

Ball, Full

(Rotary-Shaft Control Valve Terminology) The flow-controlling member of rotary-shaft control valves using a complete sphere with a flow passage through it. The flow passage equals or matches the pipe diameter.

Ball, Segmented

(Rotary-Shaft Control Valve Terminology) The flow-controlling member of rotary shaft control valves using a partial sphere with a flow passage through it.

Ball, V-Notch

(Rotary-Shaft Control Valve Terminology) The most common type of segmented ball control valve. The V-notch ball includes a polished or plated partial-sphere surface that rotates against the seal ring throughout the travel range. The V-shaped notch in the ball permits wide rangeability and produces an equal percentage flow characteristic.

Bandwidth

A symmetrical region around the set point in which proportional control occurs.

Bandwidth (Frequency Response)

The frequency span where a constant amplitude input will produce a meter reading within a specified limit (usually 3db). In controllers, the region around the setpoint where control occurs.

Bar Code

A series of horizontal stripes or bars of varying width which represent a string of characters that can be read by a bar code reader (scanner).

Basic

A high-level programming language designed at Dartmouth College as a learning tool. Acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Basic Transportation Reference

The basic transportation section of the U.S. Government Test Specification MIL-STD-810D, Method 514.3, Paragraph I-3.2.1, Page 514.3-5. Basic transportation defines the test profiles that have been defined for equipment that is shipped as secured cargo; by land, by sea or by air. The test levels are based upon land transport stress levels because these are higher than stresses imposed by air or sea transportation environments.

Baud

Digital transmission speed in bits per second.

BCD, Buffered

Binary-coded decimal output with output drivers, to increase line-drive capability.

BCD, Parallel

A digital data output format where every decimal digit is represented by binary signals on four lines and all digits are presented in parallel. The total number of lines is 4 times the number of decimal digits.

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