Time Constant

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Time Constant

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Generally, the time required for an instrument to indicate a given percentage of the final reading resulting from an input signal; the relaxation time of an instrument. In the case of instruments such as thermometers, whose response to step changes in an applied signal is exponential in character, the time constant is equal to the time required for the instrument to indicate 63.2 percent of the total change, that is, when the transient error is reduced to 1/e of the original signal change. Also called lag coefficient. See lag. Compare rise time, time lag. [[/a>|/a> ]]

References

This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use