Course info

10 Credits, 2 Semester 


The course is intended not just to lead students to know and properly describe the electronic techniques and instrumentation developed for recovering sensor signals from noise, but rather to gain a good insight in the problems faced and in the approaches developed for overcoming them. This implies to critically evaluate the solutions, avoiding the attitude where sensors and electronics are designed and employed just according to the established rules and standards. It is instead necessary to clarify the reasons of the choices and decisions in the light of the physics of phenomena involved, of the basic principles of signal and noise processing and of the actual performance of the available devices. It is necessary to clearly distinguish the intrinsic limitations set by physical laws from the current limitations set by the state of the art, which can be overcome by the technological progress. In essence, to gain insight means to progress at the pace of the technology evolution and be able to contribute to it. 

Required knowledge 

Firm know-how in the foundations of electronic circuits and semiconductor devices. Foundations of signals and transmission. Basic knowledge of probability and statistics. General background in mathematics and physics. 

Examination procedure 

The examination is ordinarily carried out with a written test. In some cases, by decision of the teacher, it may be complemented with an individual oral test. 

The results of the written test are published online on the official website of Politecnico di Milano. Either a quantitative mark is published or the student is called to a complementary oral test. At the end of the official publication term, the published marks become final and are recorded, unless refused by the student. 

Students are invited to read carefully the notice of the exam.


  • Ivan Rech, Giulia Acconcia: “Signal Recovery” book, free pdf
  • Giulia Acconcia, Ivan Rech: “Signal Recovery, Exercise book”, preliminary version, free pdf
  • Complete set of slides employed in the lectures 
  • Text and explanation of problems given in the written tests carried out in previous years 
  • Papers, presentations, technical documentation, suggested references and websites dealing with signal recovery, sensors and measurement instrumentation

Complementary Bibliography 

  • Sergio Cova, Notes and Bibliography for the course “Signal recovery” Printer: Libreria Cortina, 2014.
  • T.H. Wilmshurst, Signal recovery from noise in electronic instrumentation, 2nd edition, Printer: A. Hilger – IOP Publishing Ltd, edition year: 1990, ISBN: 0-7503-0058-2
  • Silvano Donati, Photodetectors: Devices, Circuits and Applications,
    Printer: Prentice Hall, edition year: 2000, ISBN: 0130203378
    (previous edition in italian:
    Silvano Donati, Fotorivelatori, 2a ed, Editore: Edizioni AEI, Anno edizione: 1999) 

Teaching activities

Teaching activities will include

  • Lectures (2 per week). Total lecture hours: 60
  • Tutorials (1 per week). Total tutorial hours : 40-41 ( given by Dr. Giulia Acconcia)

Lectures are intended to introduce students to the concept and methods covered by the course. Tutorial sessions are intended to present sample problems and solutions and to provide students with problem-solving strategies.