Certified Systems Engineer Professional

If you would like to become a Certified Systems Engineering Professional, ATI is here to help you. ATI is now offering a dynamic four-day Instructor-led course that covers all the latest CSEP v5.0 requirements in the July 2023 version of the INCOSE Handbook and covers all the material that might be on the CSEP/ASEP Knowledge […]

If you would like to become a Certified Systems Engineering Professional, ATI is here to help you.

ATI is now offering a dynamic four-day Instructor-led course that covers all the latest CSEP v5.0 requirements in the July 2023 version of the INCOSE Handbook and covers all the material that might be on the CSEP/ASEP Knowledge Exam. The INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) certification is a useful and coveted milestone in the career of a Systems Engineer, demonstrating knowledge, education and experience that is of high value to industry and systems organizations. This Course and certification process requires passing an extensive examination based on the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook v5.0 (July 2023), interactive work, study plans, patented study aids, and sample knowledge examination questions to help you prepare effectively for the exam. Secondarily, this course also covers the major changes in SE terminology, practice, and processes since the last 2015 SE v4.0 handbook revision. Finally, this course covers all the latest industry accepted Systems Engineering processes best practices guaranteed to make you and your company better Systems Engineers … all while working with today’s levels of complexity, ambiguity, volatility, and uncertainty.

ATI combines our proven SEH method and 60+ years of industry experience to ensure that  you will not only pass the exam, but have an in-depth understanding of the entire System Engineering process.  Our instructors are program certified and provide hands-on assistance with your application from beginning to end.  Our program also includes an extensive test bank to ensure that you are prepared for more than just the Knowledge Exam. We are so confident in our method that if you do not receive your certification after taking this course, submitting your Application and taking the Knowledge Exam, our Instructors will meet with you, complete a customized content review and we will immediately enroll you in the next offering at no additional cost.

You Receive as Part of this Course:

Personal copy of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook, Rev. 5.

Our patented ATI participant Course Manual, with newly added SE Handbook Rev. 5 materials to the existing highly regarded INCOSE ATI CSEP Rev 4. Student Guide. This manual contains not only a copy of the slides presented during the course, but also a vast amount of Instructor led insights, notes and experience to reinforce specifically what is being taught in the Rev. 5 Handbook.

Instruction and tips on how to fill out your application and reference for success. Personal, Instructor-led, guidance on submitting your INCOSE CSEP Application and Letter of Reference using proven first-pass success techniques. This instruction is provided by ATI Instructors that have served as INCOSE volunteers to review & approve applications, so ATI understands and knows exactly what your INCOSE Application Reviewer is looking for.

Personal self-evaluation questionnaire to provide you laser focus on which areas require additional study and which areas you already understand.

Personalized, Instructor-led, guidance for study planning.

An “After Class Knowledge Exam Preparation” Course module sharing effective & ineffective study and exam taking techniques showing you the existing v5.0 knowledge computer exam format and layout.

Personalized Instructor-led Knowledge Examination test taking strategies from INCOSE CSEP’s that have actually taken the Knowledge Exam and have volunteered with INCOSE to write and approve actual INCOSE Knowledge Exam questions.

Three partial and full-length sample Knowledge Examinations, written by Instructors that are themselves INCOSE CSEP’s that have actually taken the Exam and have volunteered with INCOSE to write and approve actual knowledge exam questions, and how to use each of the Knowledge Exams in your study and knowledge domain preparation to assess your readiness. Note – these ATI Sample Exams are not actual INCOSE CSEP Knowledge Exam questions.

Instructors that are with you through the entire process, including up to, through and after passing the Knowledge Exam. Instructors provide their personal email and mobile phone number and are available after your 4-Day Course through passing the Knowledge Exam … guaranteed!

No pre-course preparation is required to pass the Knowledge Exam, first-time. After you complete this 4-Day Boot-Camp and your personalized Study Play you will be ready to implement your personalized study plan and then to take and pass the CSEP/ACEP Knowledge Exam. This course is available as a private onsite only and ATI guarantees you will pass.

What You Will Learn:

How to pass the CSEP examination!

Details of the INCOSE Handbook, the source for the exam.

Your own strengths and weaknesses, to target your study.

The key processes and definitions in the INCOSE language of the exam.

ATI’s patented complete “Process-On-A-Page” Study Guide to make recalling each of the processes, their inputs and outputs and their controls and enablers easy to remember and recall during the Knowledge Exam.

How to tailor the INCOSE processes.

ATI’s proven Five Rules for Test-Taking.

ATI’s proven rules on How to Prepare and How Not To Prepare.

You will develop a trusted and personal relationship with your individual Instructor that will guide you through preparing for, taking/passing the exam, maintaining your certification through Continuing Education best practices and welcoming you into the coveted certified membership of INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professionals as you grow into your CSEP/ASEP SE role. Equally as important, you will learn the latest SE terminology, practice, and processes to be a better Engineer … GUARANTEED.

OK, Enough of the sales pitch. So, what will your next step be?

If you are ready to enroll in the course, you can go here, and register to attend the CSEP Preparation Class.

If you are not quite sure yet, and you would like to attend a free one-hour webinar to learn more about the course, you can go here, and register to attend the free webinar where you will meet one of the instructors and learn more about the course.  After attending this free session, we think you will be ready to enroll, but feel free to attend even if you don’t plan on taking the course; hopefully you will learn something.

Lastly, if you have any questions about this course, or any other ATI courses, please feel free to reach out to us at the email addresses or phone numbers listed at www.aticourses.com

Becoming An Effective Speaker

Right off the bat, I will apologize if this blog starts off as a memoir, but I promise I am eventually going to make a point. I was a shy teenage kid, a relatively new Boy Scout, attending a Leadership Camp intended to develop young scouts into better leaders.  It was a great experience, except […]

Right off the bat, I will apologize if this blog starts off as a memoir, but I promise I am eventually going to make a point.

I was a shy teenage kid, a relatively new Boy Scout, attending a Leadership Camp intended to develop young scouts into better leaders.  It was a great experience, except for one lesson which had such an impact on me that I remember it well over 50 years later.

About one hundred campers were sitting in the round, and the lesson for the day was to be “Public Speaking”.  The adult leading this lesson was a very intimidating man.  I suspect he had sized up the audience before he started, and looked for a young timid soul like myself; I was to become the focal point of the upcoming object lesson.  The adult announced that he wanted to demonstrate the importance of being well prepared to speak publicly.  To do this, he explained, he had approached a scout two days earlier and asked him to prepare a speech on the topic of his choice, a speech that he would be delivering at this lesson; the adult also told the scout of an opportunity to dry-run of the speech anytime he wanted, just to give the scout some practice.    This was to be the example of a “good” speech.  To demonstrate a “bad” speech, the adult instructor seemingly randomly picked me out of the audience, and had me come to the stage.  I was given a topic to speak about, and told to start speaking.  As expected, I delivered a disjointed, illogical, babbling mess of a speech.  It was truly a “bad” speech.  The audience laughed at me, and I was humiliated.  In hindsight, this object lesson would probably be considered hazing or abuse today.

In my later career as an engineer, I often had to deliver technical presentations.  Early in my career, I remained terrified of Public Speaking.  Later in my career, I became more skillful in the art of Public Speaking, and consequently, came to truly enjoy myself whenever given the chance to “Brief a Sponsor”.  Speaking publicly becomes more enjoyable, and more effective, if you know what you are doing.

One might think that knowing how to deliver a speech is intuitive, and that anyone can figure out how to do it without guidance.  Although many take this approach, a quality course on Public Speaking is a more effective way to improve your skill in this art better, and more quickly.  An ideal Public Speaking course might include topics such as:  

  • Why Excellent Presentation Skills Are Essential to Your Career Advancement
  • How to Reduce Your Fear of Public Speaking
  • How to Acquire Knowledge of Your Audience
  • How to Create In-Person and Virtual Technical Presentations
  • How to Practice In-Person and Virtual Technical Presentations
  • How to Deliver In-Person and Virtual Technical Presentations  

It turns out that ATI has exactly this course, and you have now have an opportunity to take Technical Presentation Skills for Scientists and Engineers.  This one-day short-course is a hands-on workshop that covers all the skills necessary to create, practice, and deliver successful technical presentations. All students will have the opportunity to develop technical presentations. Selected students will have the chance to deliver their technical presentations and receive evaluations from other students and the course instructor.

The ATI course will be delivered live, in a virtual environment.  This method of delivery will actually allow students to better tailor their Presentation skills for delivery in a virtual environment, a skill which is getting more important every day.

The instructor for this short-course is Frank DiBartolomeo.  He is an award-winning speaker, Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, Toastmasters International member for over thirty (30) years, and founder and President of DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), a presentation skills coaching company. 

The short-course is being offered by ATI in June, but on May 6, ATI will be offering a free one-hour WEBEX presentation by Frank DiBartolomeo where he will be discussing what to expect in his full one-day workshop.  You can learn more about this May 6 free session, and register to attend at  Technical Prestentations Short Session .  Feel free to attend the free session even if you have no intention of taking the full workshop; maybe we can change your mind.    You can learn more about the one-day full course workshop, and register to attend at Technical Presentations Short Course .

And as always, a full listing of upcoming courses offered by ATI can be found at Upcoming  ATI Courses .

UAVs, A Technology Ripe For Innovative Thinking

Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) are useful on the battlefield because they can go places, and do things, that would otherwise not be possible, or would put human life in jeopardy.  They are a relatively low cost means to accomplish force projection in the battle space.  There are also many non-military uses for UAVs.  Commercial use […]

Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) are useful on the battlefield because they can go places, and do things, that would otherwise not be possible, or would put human life in jeopardy.  They are a relatively low cost means to accomplish force projection in the battle space. 

There are also many non-military uses for UAVs.  Commercial use of UAVs is poised to grow at least as much as military use in the future, and most of us will probably notice UAV advances in commercial applications more than in military applications.  Its like the wild wild west out there, an area of technology that is ripe for innovation.  UAVs are being used to do tasks previously done by humans or more expensive systems, but we are also finding ways to use UAVs to solve problems that we did not even realize we had.  While many lower cost commercial UAVs still require remote human intervention, technology advances may change that in the near future.

I was watching the NFL playoffs last week, and I noticed that many of the camera shots were provided by cameras mounted on UAVs or drones.  This application of UAVs replaces the old way of mounting cameras on guide wires above the field.  Drones are cheaper, less obtrusive, easier to maintain, more resilient, and more capable of providing the good video that we all expect.

When I sold my house last year, my agent hired someone to fly a drone above my house and take video.  It created a very nice sales package, and my house sold quickly.  This is an example of new use of drones, as doing aerial video for real estate sales would have been cost prohibitive a decade ago.

And, let’s not forget about the spectacular drone shows that have replaced many of the fireworks shows that we have seen in the past.  Although there will always be an appetite for a good fireworks display, drone shows are very popular.  Drone shows are more cost effective, safer, and more spectacular, in the authors opinion.

So, how can engineers take advantage of this new opportunity to innovate and come up with new military and commercial applications of UAVs?  ATI is here to help.  Consider enrolling in ATI’s upcoming course Unmanned Air Vehicle Design.

This three-day short course covers the design of unmanned air vehicles. The course will cover the history and classes of UAVs, requirement definition, command and control concepts and UAV aircraft design. It provides first-hand understanding of the entire design and development process for unmanned vehicles.

You can learn more about this course, and register to attend here.

And as always, you can learn more about all of ATI’s other course offerings at www.aticourses.com .

Business Essentials

As an early professional, right out of college and new to my first real job in 1980, I was under the impression that I would spend my entire career simply demonstrating the skills that I had learned in college.  After all, you go to college to learn everything, and then you spend the next 50 […]

As an early professional, right out of college and new to my first real job in 1980, I was under the impression that I would spend my entire career simply demonstrating the skills that I had learned in college.  After all, you go to college to learn everything, and then you spend the next 50 years simply using that knowledge set, right?  Now retired and wiser after a career, I realize that I was very wrong. College merely gives you some basic initial building blocks and teaches you how to think, but it is up to YOU to continue your technical training, and your on-the-job training, throughout your career.  College coursework is important, but it is a very small piece of your career coursework.

Ongoing lifelong learning is necessary for two reasons.

First, technology changes, and you need to stay current.  ATI is positioned to keep you current with ongoing technical training.  A full listing of our courses can be found at www.aticourses.com

Second, your roles and responsibilities will change over the course of your professional lifetime, and as your roles will change, your skills must change too.  While many recent grads and new-hires never think about it, early professionals will eventually become leaders, bosses, and managers.  Consequently, a new skill set will be required, and those skills were likely not have been taught to you in your undergraduate college program.  ATI is here to help. We are offering a new course called Business Essentials for Scientists and Engineers.

This five-day course is comprised of 5 one-day modules which teach Scientist and Engineers the soft skills associated with your profession.  You will learn Project Management Skills, Business Basics, and Publishing Strategies.  While you may get some of this material in your on-the-job training, this course will provide the materials from noted experts in a complete and concise manner.  This course is a must for people who are interested in more than just the pure technical aspects of their job. 

An over view of the upcoming Business Essentials for Scientists and Engineers  follows. 

Day 1 – Business Management for Scientists and Engineers

Day 2 – Project Management Essentials

Day 3 – Accelerating Team Performance

Day 4 – Presentation Skills, Virtual and In-Person

Day 5 – Publishing your Research

You can find additional information on this ATI course here.  You will also find additional information including dates and instructor biographies for each module.   You can also register for this class at this site.  Registering for only particular modules is an option.

A good way to learn more about this course is to attend the upcoming one-hour free webinar where the instructors for each module will tell you more about their courses.  Feel free to attend the free session, even if you are not currently planning to take the course.  Perhaps we will change your mind.  You can register for the free session here.  While there, you can also register for the full course.

We hope you will give this exciting new opportunity a chance.

What Makes a Tactical ISR System used for Surveillance & Protection, Reliable & Effective?

The sudden and brutal attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group, Hamas on October 7 took Israel and most of the world by surprise. After all, it had only been 2 years since the arrival of the sophisticated $1.2 B defensive “Iron Wall”, the term used when completed 7 December 2021 by Israeli Defense […]

The sudden and brutal attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group, Hamas on October 7 took Israel and most of the world by surprise. After all, it had only been 2 years since the arrival of the sophisticated $1.2 B defensive “Iron Wall”, the term used when completed 7 December 2021 by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, which completely separates Israel from the Gaza Strip throughout their shared 40-mile border. The Iron Wall extends above and below ground, as well as into the Mediterranean Sea; and with Israel’s consolidated impressive and proven technologies, the wall was designed to deny and impede hostile incursions from the Gaza side of the wall. Embedded within the Iron Wall and observation towers are: sensors to detect underground and above ground encroachment and/or intrusions by those from Gaza as well as automated/remote defense weaponry. The wall itself embeds a laser-based sensor that can detect and report exact location intrusion(s) along its entire span– a technology Future Fibre Technologies (FFT) demonstrated to the author during design of a tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (T-ISR) system to persistently protect highly-critical areas in the US.

Designing an effective T-ISR system for the Israel-Gaza border focused on persistent surveillance, which is tasked to determine if an object (personnel, vehicles, etc.) has entered into a pre-defined restricted area. If such incursions are detected, the T-ISR system performs object identification, target lethality assessment, generates a track timeline (per target with location, direction, & timestamp), processes data to be disseminated to command centers and other sensors (data cross-correlation), and finally generates & broadcasts alerts as required. T-ISR systems are implemented differently based upon system requirements, mission resources, and characteristics associated with the area/volume of interest (AOI/VOI) to be observed and protected. For the Iron Wall, the defense systems were more or less in “plain sight” to Hamas 2 years. Whereas Israeli designers and defenders had to consider all possible means of attack, Hamas need only to concentrate on identifying the wall’s weak links and develop a strategy to leverage using these weaknesses.

We saw this methodology to evaluate “wall” weaknesses by an attacker over time with Michael Creighton’s fictional raptors (Jurassic Park) that constantly tested their electrified fences. This systematic evaluation of defense “weak points” has occurred repeatedly in history: from Genghis Khan’s incursions beyond the great China Wall to the WWII German unexpected and rapid invasion of Belgium by the Wehrmacht by side-stepping the 280-mile Maginot Line France built in the 1930s (a mix of fortresses, underground bunkers, minefields, and gun batteries). Israel too has first-hand experience of unexpected breaches. In 1969, Israel built the Bar Lev line along the entire Suez Canal. Israeli planners estimated it would take a minimum of 24 hours for Egyptian forces to breach this fortified line.  To the Israelis’’ surprise, during the early stages of the 1973 Yom Kippur War Egypt breached the Bar Lev line in less than two hours.

Referring to the Oct 7th attack, a timeline as to the strategy Hamas employed is forming.  The initial assault stage aimed to disrupt surveillance and communications through use of commercial drones that dropped munitions onto communications towers and remote-controlled machine gun turrets. Simultaneously, sniper fire was used against outposts and cameras to negate their effectiveness. As Bergman-Kingsley (New York Times) reported, IDF border soldiers were denied cellular connectivity; and alarm signals were not transmitted, received, or distributed. In coordination with the ground attacks, Hamas provided cover for their ground and airborne terrorists through an intense barrage of rockets (>3000) against Israel in a 20-minute window. Finally, it has been reported that Hamas had knowledge that three IDF battalions at the Gaza border were redeployed to the West Bank on the eve of the Simchat Torah holiday.

As pieces of what occurred on October 7th are revealed, perhaps questions addressing fundamental issues regarding the failure of the Iron Wall will be answered, as: (1) Why didn’t the long-range sensors (>1 miles) or high-resolution cameras pick-up movement sooner, to afford more time for a critical IDF response? (2) How did commercial-size front loaders (“bulldozers”) get to the wall without being detected prior to their breach? (3) Where was the 24/7 overwatch afforded by the IDF ISR-enabled drones that provided persistent overwatch of surveillance areas? (4) How did Hamas successfully jam all critical wall defense command and data communications? (5) Finally, how did Hamas gain so much actionable information on Iron Wall weaknesses to conduct such an overwhelming breach?

There are numerous avenues to designing persistent surveillance systems for tactical action. An approach used is through integration of persistent low-cost, low-power ISR sensors operating autonomously and tiered with sophisticated sensors and fault-tolerant data exfiltration and routing. In considering design and implementation of a T-ISR system, decision-makers at each life-cycle phase must consider at the top level: (1) review/revision of effective and achievable requirements (critical assumptions about opponent and operating characteristics),  (2) evaluation of effectiveness & limitations for the applicable sensor and communication technologies, (3) technical and resource limitations, (4) understanding and appropriate application of system performance equations, and (5) implementation of end-to-end system engineering approaches.

These, and several related topics, are presented by ATI’s February 2024 course entitled, Embedding Wireless Sensor Networking (WSN) in Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance (T-ISR). This course is of significant value to those working tactical ISR, WSN systems, Internet of (Battle) Things (IoT, IoBT), ad hoc sensing nets, remote sensing, and solving tactical ISR (T-ISR) mission requirements. To learn more about this course, and to register to attend, you can go here, or to www.aticourses.com for a full listing of other courses.

— TD Cole 11/7/2023

Satellite Communications

Communication Satellites were first used as the sole means for intercontinental telephony.  It was the first and only way that telephone calls could be placed between countries separated by the vast oceans.  The introduction of fiber-optic technology in underwater submarine cables allowed an alternate means for intercontinental telephony, so there was a reduction in use […]

Communication Satellites were first used as the sole means for intercontinental telephony.  It was the first and only way that telephone calls could be placed between countries separated by the vast oceans.  The introduction of fiber-optic technology in underwater submarine cables allowed an alternate means for intercontinental telephony, so there was a reduction in use of communication satellites. 

Communication satellites remain important today because of the large number of users and locations that are still not accessible by submarine cables.  Remote islands would be one example of a place where it would not be economically feasible to run cables.  Additionally, there are countries that are accessed by submarine cables, but the land line system in that country is not adequate to relay the calls to other places in that country.   Ships at sea, military combatants in the field, and airplanes are also places where satellite communications remain the only way to communicate.  Even places that do have access to submarine cables often have back-up systems that use satellite communications.  So, satellite communications remain an important way to stay in contact, and that will remain the case in the future.  

ATI is offering a course Satellite Communication Systems which should be of interest to engineers that work in this exciting area.  This three-day course covers all the technology of advanced satellite communications, as well as the principles behind current state-of-the-art satellite communications equipment. New and promising technologies will be covered to develop an understanding of the major approaches, including network topologies, VSAT and IP networking over satellite.

 The Satellite Communication Systems course begins in early December, so don’t waste any time registering for this ATI short course.  You can learn more about the course, and register to attend, here.

As always, you can learn about the many other courses offered by ATI at www.aticourses.com .

Engineers and Technical Training Providers Must Remain Relevant

IT would be an understatement to say that one needs to keep current in his or her field in order to excel in their profession.  One of the best ways to keep current would be ongoing technical training.  This training could come from Applied Technology Institute (ATI), or from any of our fine competitors. It […]

IT would be an understatement to say that one needs to keep current in his or her field in order to excel in their profession.  One of the best ways to keep current would be ongoing technical training.  This training could come from Applied Technology Institute (ATI), or from any of our fine competitors.

It would also be an understatement to say that a technical training company must strive to offer courses which reflect the current needs of students, and the company must offer courses that contain current and relevant material for students.  ATI strives to do just that.

One example of a new offering by ATI is “Business Essentials For Scientists and Engineers”.  This course is comprised of 5 one-day modules which teach Scientist and Engineers the soft skills associated with their profession.  Students learn Project Management Skills, Business Basics, and Publishing Strategies.  The material students learn is critical, but not typically taught in most Undergraduate or Graduate Programs.  This course is a must for people who are interested in more than just the pure technical aspects of their project.  The course was developed based on a stated need from our students.

While the soft sciences taught in this course are important, ATI is still a leader in technical short-course training to help you keep current in your field.  ATI recently identified that there may be a need for a short-course training on Sonobuoy Technology.  Based on that need, we have developed just such a class, to fill that void, and will be offering it next month.

If you or your company has a need for technical training, and you are having trouble finding a Training Vendor who offers that training, please don’t give up.  ATI would love to hear about your needs, and we hope to be able to develop the training you are seeking.

To learn more about both of these new offerings at ATI, or to learn about our many other offerings, please visit our page at www.aticourses.com  .  If you would like to talk to us about your training needs, contact information can be found at the same site.

Sensing the Outside Environment, Beyond Acoustically

ATI is pleased to offer a new course “Sonobuoy Technology for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare and Beyond.”  This article introduces that course.  Additionally, Mr. Seibert Murphy will be conducting a free-session on this topic.  Details on that free session, and details on the full course can be found below. Air Anti-Submarine Warfare (Air ASW) has played […]

ATI is pleased to offer a new course “Sonobuoy Technology for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare and Beyond.”  This article introduces that course.  Additionally, Mr. Seibert Murphy will be conducting a free-session on this topic.  Details on that free session, and details on the full course can be found below.

Air Anti-Submarine Warfare (Air ASW) has played a pivotal role in naval operations for decades. It is a complex and ever-evolving field that combines cutting-edge technology with tactical prowess. In this course, we will learn about Air ASW by taking a journey through the history of sonobuoy technology, from its humble beginnings to its current state, and explore the many exciting prospects for its future.

What do you think of when you hear the word sonobuoy?  Maybe you think “sonar-buoy” and you would not be too far from the truth because sonobuoy is a mashup of the two words. Thinking about sonobuoys used in Air ASW, we have to consider that not only do they play a vital role but they must be designed like other munitions to be handled, transported, stored, then launched from high altitude, survive impacting the ocean, and operate under demanding climate, extreme weather, and sea state conditions.  All while being precise enough to detect submarines (and other undersea vehicles) that are trying to do their very best to remain undetectable. There is a lot going on inside the humble 4.875″ diameter, 36″ long sonobuoy.

Air ASW traces its roots back to World War I when aircraft were first used to search for submarines. Early attempts were rudimentary, with pilots relying on visual observations and basic weapons. However, these pioneering efforts set the stage for the development of more sophisticated ASW tactics and equipment.

The outbreak of World War II saw a rapid evolution in ASW. By 1942 allied forces had developed sonobuoy technology and sonar-equipped aircraft to detect submarines in undersea combat. Depth charges and torpedoes were also refined for aerial use. These advancements proved vital in the Battle of the Atlantic, where convoys depended on ASW to fend off German U-boats.

The Cold War brought further innovations in ASW technology. Aircraft like the P-3 Orion equipped with sonobuoys, advanced sonar signal processing systems, and magnetic anomaly detectors, greatly enhancing their submarine-hunting capabilities. Air ASW operations also played a significant role in the tense standoff between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Today, Air ASW remains a critical component of naval strategy. Modern aircraft like the P-8 Poseidon and helicopters such as the MH-60R Seahawk have taken ASW to new heights. These platforms employ cutting-edge sensors, including synthetic aperture radar and acoustic arrays, to detect and track submarines. Additionally, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly being used for ASW missions, providing enhanced flexibility and endurance.

The future of sonobuoy technologies holds exciting possibilities. Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) will likely improve the success rate of submarine detection as well as environmental monitoring and management. Next generation sonobuoys, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and underwater drones will play a more prominent role in hunting submarines and exploring the challenging underwater environments. High performance embedded computing, along with cooperative and multi-sensor data fusion methods will revolutionize sonobuoy usage by enabling faster and more accurate data processing.

Sonobuoys and associated technologies have been around in popular media since the seventies.  Some of the first examples are as props in shows like “Star Trek” and “Battle Star Galactica.”  You may have seen the eight-sided tubes stacked as props in the shuttle bay or in engineering spaces.  They were often painted silver or gold to give a futuristic look. Sonobuoys played supporting roles in “The Hunt for Red October”, “Crimson Tide”, “JAG” and “Hawaii-Five-O” to name a few.  Unfortunately, sonobuoys are also used for sea air rescue or SAR missions.  In those cases, specialized sonobuoys are used to listen for sounds of flight data recorder’s acoustic beacon, noise anomalies, or even voice communications. Recent examples of search and recovery using sonar and sonobuoy technologies include Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) in 2014, and the OceanGate Titan submersible in June 2023.

Over the past 100 years, or so, Air ASW and sonobuoy technology has come a long way from its humble beginnings, evolving into a sophisticated and essential aspect of modern naval operations and ocean research. As technology continues to advance, the future of sonobuoys for Air ASW and beyond promises even greater capabilities. We’ll talk about an ever-changing world, where the keeping a watchful eye over the depths of our world’s oceans ensures a healthy food supply, environmental protection, freedom of navigation, safety and security of the seas, for years to come.

A one-hour, free webinar describing the ATI course “Sonobuoy Technology for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare and Beyond” will be conducted by the instructor on November 6.  You can find more information on that free-session and register to attend by going here.  The full 2-day course will be offered starting December 5.  You can read more about the full course, and register to attend, by going here.  Please consider one or both of these exciting possibilities.

Systems Engineering Changes to Be Aware of at INCOSE and ATI

A recent ATI blog from 2022 discussed the INCOSE Certification process; you can read that blog here. The Systems Engineering Handbook is the source for INCOSE SE certification exams.  The 2015 SE handbook (revision 4) had a major revision in July 2023 to revision 5. The purposes of this article are (1) to discuss how […]

A recent ATI blog from 2022 discussed the INCOSE Certification process; you can read that blog here.

The Systems Engineering Handbook is the source for INCOSE SE certification exams.  The 2015 SE handbook (revision 4) had a major revision in July 2023 to revision 5. The purposes of this article are (1) to discuss how technology and world events have driven Systems Engineering and (2) to discuss advances since 2015 in SE research, practice, terminology, approaches, tools, and processes.  

World War II was the beginning of Systems Engineering. Systems started to substantially increase in size, complexity, interdependency, and functional specialization. This drove the need to have a System Engineer orchestrate the technical iterative and recursive development requirements, architecture, design, tradeoffs, and analysis processes over the system life cycle.  Software and computers started to appear.  The Silicon Integrated Chips dramatically improved the advances in computers and software’s capabilities and value. Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on a chip double about every two years, though the cost of computer halves.  

In 1994 DoD shifted from Military standards to commercial standards. This was because the commercial market was now the primary driver of technology.  This shift also followed commercial world use of more incremental and agile approaches toward development of Systems and Software.

The SE handbook (rev 4) was consistent with ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, INCOSE Work Groups, and the body of Knowledge for the INCOSE certification process.  The SE Handbook is also used as an SE desktop reference book.  The SE Book of Knowledge was becoming the greater elaboration of SE “good” practice and more frequently updated. The SE fundamentals have remained the same since the late 1990s for Planned or Software waterfall life cycle approaches.

Since 2015 in Systems Engineering research, practice, terminology, approaches, tools, and processes have made dramatic improvements to deal with the following changes in technology and world events:

  • Large increase in software intensive systems
  • SE research and tools are rapidly being put into practice to deal with the following.
    • System interfaces (loosely defined, plug and play, MOSA, and rapidly changing)
    • SoS, Enabling systems, dependencies, and legacy systems.
    • Systems being used with other systems not originally designed to work together.
    • Tailor SE for cost and schedule overrun risk for appropriate amount of rigor based on approaches, types, and Domain/Sector.
    • Supply chain issues and increase in remote working caused by COVID, wars, embargoes, and economic considerations (Example IT support from India).
    • Terminology and processes are being adjusted for more flexibility and wider acceptance.
    • Concern about cyber security.
    • Rise in ISO/IEC/IEEE standards for systems and software Engineering
    • INCOSE proliferation of guides for SE subspecialties and topics.

As a result of the dramatic changes to the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook, the following updates to existing ATI SE courses are announced.   

           SE Tailoring Course Updated (Offering in 2023). Go here to register for Free Session or register for the Full Course here.

           Fundamental of SE Course (including On-Demand version) Updated (Offering in 2023). Go here to register for current SE Fundamentals on-demand class, or wait for the updated class coming soon.

           CSEP Exam Preparation Course– Updated (Offering late in 2023)This updated course will be available in January 2024.  Please let us know if you are interested in the updated class, and we will make sure we send you updates on how to register for this class. 

Please consider enrolling in one or more of these ATI courses to remain current with INCOSE SE practices.

Tracking Contacts with Sonar, TMA

Sonar and Target Motion Analysis Fundamentals is a course being offered by ATI in September.  If you are a submarine sonarman, or if you are an engineer developing tools for use by submarine sonarmen, then this is the course for you!  You surely already understand the meaning and importance of Target Motion Analysis, and this […]

Sonar and Target Motion Analysis Fundamentals is a course being offered by ATI in September. 

If you are a submarine sonarman, or if you are an engineer developing tools for use by submarine sonarmen, then this is the course for you!  You surely already understand the meaning and importance of Target Motion Analysis, and this class will offer insights that you may not have been exposed to in your Navy or workplace training.

Surface Ships use Radar in much the same way that Submarines use Sonar.  One major difference between Surface Ships and Submarines is that stealth is critical to the submarine, and less important to the surface ship.  So, submarines typically do not want to emit any energy from their ship, as that would be detectable by the adversary.  As a result, while Surface Ship Radar actively emits energy, submarine sonar does not.  Submarine Sonars act passively; it only listens to naturally occurring noise, it does not transmit any energy.

When a Surface Ship Radar emits a pulse and listens for a return, the radarman is able to pinpoint the precise location of the contact.  Over time, he can examine the track of his contact, and use this information for tactical purposes.  The process is fairly simple compared to what happens on a submarine.

When a submarine sonarman hears a contact using his passive sonar, he knows nothing more than the direction it is coming from.  Over time, he can develop a time history of the direction to the contact, but that is not the same as a Target Track.  The time history of target direction is of little use for tactical planners; they need to know the track of the contact, which includes the contacts range and direction of travel.  In order to convert the time history of target direction into a usable contact track, the sonarman, or the sonarman’s computer programs, must execute “Target Motion Analysis”.

If you find this explanation interesting, or if it sounds like something that you may be able to apply to your work, please consider joining us for this class.  You can learn more about the class, and register for it here.

A complete listing of all of the courses that ATI can offer upon request can be found here.

The Difference Between Oppenheimer’s Bomb and Today’s Nuclear Weapons

With the release the critically acclaimed movie “Oppenheimer”, I am once again inclined to think about Strategic Deterrence in the modern day. In 1942, during World War 2, J. Robert Oppenheimer was appointed to lead the Manhattan Project, with the ultimate goal of developing an Atomic Bomb.  The development of that Atomic Bomb had nothing […]

With the release the critically acclaimed movie “Oppenheimer”, I am once again inclined to think about Strategic Deterrence in the modern day.

In 1942, during World War 2, J. Robert Oppenheimer was appointed to lead the Manhattan Project, with the ultimate goal of developing an Atomic Bomb.  The development of that Atomic Bomb had nothing to do with deterrence; it had to do with winning the war.  The intent from the start of the Project was to design, build, and most importantly, detonate a weapon which would surprise the adversary and be so powerful and devastating that they would have no choice but to surrender; that is exactly what happened.  The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945, and the Japanese surrendered, ending World War 2, only one month later.   

The Atomic Bomb that ended the World War 2 in 1945 was built to be detonated.  Nuclear weapons that have been built since World War 2 were not built to be detonated; they were built in hope that they would be used to ensure they would never need to be detonated in anger.  While the Oppenheimer Bomb was built in total secrecy so that the adversary would never know of their pending fate, Cold War and post-cold war Nuclear Weapons are flaunted and tested in the open so that the adversary knows precisely their potential fate.  All countries that build nuclear weapons know that they can never be detonated in anger; they are too powerful and devastating, and too politically charged.  Nonetheless, countries continue to build, stockpile, and openly test nuclear weapons; they continue to use nuclear weapons without planning to detonate them in anger.  The “use” for these weapons is strategic deterrence.  Cold War era warfighters began developing systematic models of how to operationalize the art of influencing someone to NOT take a grievously severe action such as using nuclear weapons against another country.  These models relied on mutually assured destruction.  Nuclear powers know today that if they unleash their nuclear weapons on another nuclear power, the response will be a nuclear one, and no country can tolerate that.  This is the essence of strategic deterrence. 

Nuclear weapons that have been built since World War 2 were not built to be detonated; they were built so that they would never need to be detonated in anger.  This is the essence of strategic deterrence. 

If you’d like to learn more about this subject, consider taking the upcoming new ATI course, Nuclear Weapons and Strategic Deterrence.   Over two days the course will cover the physics, technology and operations of strategic nuclear weapons.  To learn more about this course, and to register, please go here.

Sonar From The Air

I spent most of my career in the sonar business.  It was always assumed that sonar can only work when both the transmitter and the receiver were in the same body of water; air to water sonar was not possible because sonar can not break the air-water interface.   Sure, there were planes that could “dip” […]

I spent most of my career in the sonar business.  It was always assumed that sonar can only work when both the transmitter and the receiver were in the same body of water; air to water sonar was not possible because sonar can not break the air-water interface.   Sure, there were planes that could “dip” a device into the water that would transmit and receive sonar signals, but that is still considered a water-water sonar.  Thanks to the innovative minds of Stanford University, there may now be a way to transmit and receive sonar from an airborne platform.  Who would have thought?

Stanford engineers explain that the Photoacoustic Airborne Sonar System, or PASS, fires a laser into the surface of the water, its intensity pulsed to the desired acoustic frequency, and as this laser energy is absorbed, it creates ultrasonic waves in the water that can act as effective sonar waves, bouncing off underwater objects before returning up to the surface.  “If we can use light in the air, where light travels well, and sound in the water, where sound travels well, we can get the best of both worlds”

This can be a game changer for Anti Submarine Warfare.  Aircraft would be able to search for submarines without dropping sensors into the water.  This would be advantageous because aircraft could search an area more quickly, and the splashing sound of the sensors would not give away the presence of the aircraft.

If sonar interests you, or if you work with sonar, consider taking the upcoming ATI course “Sonar Principles and ASW Analysis.”  This three-day course provides an excellent introduction to underwater sound and highlights how sonar principles are employed in ASW analyses. The course provides a solid understanding of the sonar equation and discusses in-depth propagation loss, target strength, reverberation, arrays, array gain, and detection of signals. 

To learn more about this course, and to register, you can go here.

And, to learn more about other courses offered by ATI, please go to www.aticourses.com

Digital Twins

Lifecycle activities for a project include concept development, and continue with design, construction, operation, maintenance, and conclude with project disposal tasks.  In the past, an individual working on a project might be concerned with only one part of the lifecycle, and then hand off the product or ideas to another person working on the next […]

Lifecycle activities for a project include concept development, and continue with design, construction, operation, maintenance, and conclude with project disposal tasks.  In the past, an individual working on a project might be concerned with only one part of the lifecycle, and then hand off the product or ideas to another person working on the next aspect of the lifecycle.  As projects have become more complex, and as hardware and software are being asked to work together more than ever, it is no longer possible to work on some isolated aspect of a complex project; the project must be handled holistically across all phases of the lifecycle, and this requires a new way of doing business. 

Traditional engineering projects would have addressed requirements, design, verification and validation, and then delivered the project to the customer for construction, and eventually ongoing operation and maintenance.  The new paradigm, Digital Engineering, addresses all of the things that Traditional engineering addressed, but continues to be active and relevant throughout the entire remaining Lifecycle of the project.  Digital Engineering is defined (Steven’s Institute of Technology) as ‘‘an integrated digital approach that uses authoritative sources of systems’ data and models as a continuum across disciplines to support lifecycle activities from concept through disposal.

The first phase of the lifecycle is concept development and design. Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) supports these preliminary systems engineering activities; requirements, architecture, design, verification, and validation. Physics based models used by other engineering disciplines would then need to be connected to the model in order to assess and monitor operations during the following phases of the lifecycle.  All of these models used holistically would be a Digital Engineering approach to the project.

Many who work the field of digital engineering give the example of producing two distinct products.  In the past, a building project would result in one product, the building itself.  Using the digital engineering approach, we would end up with two distinct products.  The first product would still be the building, but the second product would be a “digital twin”  of the building.

A modern building can be thought of as a System of Systems.  The building is a System, but it is comprised of many subsystems; climate control system, fire control system, electrical system, just to name a few.  Under traditional engineering methods, if there was a problem with one of the subsystems in the building, maintenance people would need to troubleshoot the problem using tools like voltmeters and sledge hammers, identify the best solution, perhaps tear down drywall to access and fix the culprit system, and perhaps ultimately discover that they were “barking up the wrong tree.”  If that is the case, the troubleshooting would start again, and the repair process would be repeated until the problem is ultimately identified and fixed.  This is a cumbersome and expensive process, but it is how we have done business for many years.

With a “digital twin” which resulted from using the Digital Engineering process, one could troubleshoot the problem from a computer, and test potential solutions to see if the outcome would be favorable.  Additionally, Digital Engineering could utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) with data collected from each subsystem, to alleviate or prevent many problems before they even occur. 

When problem do occur, however, although a solution may solve the immediate problem, it can sometimes cause new problems which need to be addressed.  With the “Digital Twin”, the solution to the problem can be investigated and verified before any repairman grabs his toolbox and starts tearing down walls.  If there are unexpected consequences associate with the repair, it will quickly become evident from the Digital Twin.

The holistic approach of Digital Engineering can have profound impacts on production costs, production schedule, and risk reduction throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.  For these reason, Digital Engineering is rapidly gaining popularity in today’s marketplace.

Anyone wishing to learn more about Digital Engineering should start by learning more about Model Based Systems Engineering.  ATI offers a three-day class that provides an introduction to Model-Based Systems Engineering.  Lectures on proven, state-of-the-art techniques will be reinforced with lessons learned and case studies from the instructor’s own experiences applying MBSE of major DoD acquisition programs, along with in class, live demonstrations using a popular system modeling tool (Cameo Systems Modeler™ by No Magic, Inc.) to create an example model.  The course is valuable to systems engineers, program managers, and anyone else interested in understanding what is required to create a system model, how to use it to support systems engineering activities on a program, and the benefits that can be realized.

To learn more about this the ATI course Model-Based Systems Engineering, and to register for this class, you can go here.  And, as always, to learn more about the other courses available at ATI, go to www.aticourses.com .

ATI Wants To Talk To You at the Space Symposium Next Week

Who is going to the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs next week?  It should be a wonderful opportunity to learn and network in the Space Technology arena. Applied Technology Institute (ATI) is a known leader in Technical Training for Scientists and Engineers, and is attending the conference for two important reasons. First, we are looking […]

Who is going to the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs next week? 

It should be a wonderful opportunity to learn and network in the Space Technology arena.

Applied Technology Institute (ATI) is a known leader in Technical Training for Scientists and Engineers, and is attending the conference for two important reasons.

First, we are looking for Companies who may want to start using ATI to satisfy their Technical Training needs.

Second, we are looking for individuals who may want to join the ATI team, to teach courses for us.

We will be walking around and meeting people, but we also welcome the opportunity to email with you prior to the conference, and schedule a meeting over coffee while at the conference, so we can learn a little more about each other.

Please take a look at our web page at www.aticourses.com

Please reach out to me ( bob@aticourses.com or 410-428-9919 ), before the conference, or at the conference, and let’s talk. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

A BLOG About a BLOG

Did you know that Applied Technology Institute has a blog?  In fact, you are reading one of our blog posts at this very moment.  You would know that if you are reading this blog from our homepage ( ATI Courses  ), but perhaps you are reading this via some other site, like Linkedin. ATI is […]

Did you know that Applied Technology Institute has a blog?  In fact, you are reading one of our blog posts at this very moment.  You would know that if you are reading this blog from our homepage ( ATI Courses  ), but perhaps you are reading this via some other site, like Linkedin.

ATI is a technical training company that provides short-course training to scientists and engineers.  We have been around since 1984, and we have been blogging for the past 10 years of so.  ATI short-courses are intended for people who are already in the workplace, and find themselves needing to learn or refresh skills that may be needed for a current assignment, or may be desired to simply prepare for future assignments.  Prior to COVID, all of our offerings were live in-person.  During COVID, all of our offerings were live virtual.  Today, we offer courses both live in-person, and live virtual.  We also recently started offering pre-recorded courses. 

ATI courses come in two flavors.  Open Enrollment Courses are advertised on our website, and sent to everyone on our mailing list, and anyone who wishes to enroll in the course is welcome.  Custom Courses are a bit different in that a company like yours may hire ATI to send one of our Instructors to your site to offer training to group of your people.  For Custom Courses, we invite our clients to talk to our instructor prior to the course so that he/she may tailor the course to your specific needs and desires.

So, what would a company like ATI want to BLOG about, you ask?

Sometimes, an ATI BLOG will serve to introduce and promote some upcoming ATI Course.  These BLOGS will provide information on how to enroll in the course, or how to attend a free one-hour session where you can meet the instructor and learn what to expect from the course.

Sometimes, an ATI BLOG will discuss some recent discovery of interest to scientist and engineers, and suggest ATI courses that are related to the discovery.

Sometimes, an ATI BLOG will be unrelated to science and engineering, and will simply contain a human-interest story.

Regardless of which kind of BLOG ATI posts each week, we try provide useful information to our readers. 

We hope you found this particular BLOG helpful, and encourage you to check back to the ATI BLOG page ( Blog – ATI Courses )  regularly to see what’s new at ATI, an in the world of science and engineering.

The Value of Short-Course Technical Training

I could not imagine living in a house that does not have a basement.  While most people would simply discard anything that doesn’t fit in the main level of their house, I simply move it to the basement.  So, my basement is quite full of junk.  Sometimes, I need to find something in my basement, […]

I could not imagine living in a house that does not have a basement.  While most people would simply discard anything that doesn’t fit in the main level of their house, I simply move it to the basement.  So, my basement is quite full of junk.  Sometimes, I need to find something in my basement, and I search endlessly, and eventually give up and declare the item “missing”.  In the process of searching, however, I often find things that had previously been declared “missing”.  So, I have come to learn that nothing is ever “missing”, it simply is waiting for a later time to be found.

I thought about my basement when I read about a recent discovery by scientists studying data received from the James Webb Space Telescope.  This telescope is the largest optical telescope in space.  It’s high-resolution and high-sensitivity instruments make it capable of viewing objects too distant or too faint for the Hubble Telescope.  This telescope has been in space for only a little more than a year, and it is already sending back data and images that are simply amazing.

Similar to my basement adventures, scientists were recently looking for one thing using the James Webb Space Telescope, and they discovered something entirely different.  NASA scientist were looking for a previously-discovered asteroid, but were unable to find it due its brightness and an offset in the telescope’s direction.  While they could not see the asteroid they were looking for, they did discover another asteroid which had never been seen before.  The new asteroid was very small, demonstrating that the James Webb Telescope was capable of finding asteroids smaller than anything which was previously discoverable with Hubble.  The mission had been declared a failure, but was now declared a great success.

I found this story particularly interesting because in addition to reminding me of my cluttered basement, it also made me think about how many different scientists, and how many different disciplines, and how many different engineering achievements were necessary to ultimately find this asteroid.  It was not a single person, or even a single team of people that got us here.  Designing and building the Telescope was the first task at hand, and that required massive amounts of Systems Engineering and manufacturing expertise.  Launching the Space Telescope into space with a Ariane 5 Rocket was also a huge feat, which required the skills of another team.  Daily operations of the telescope and managing the data from the telescope require even more attention from a completely different set of scientists.  There is huge number of people that had their hands on this discovery, and the future discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope.

To be a well-rounded scientist or engineer, one should have a basic level of understanding of each of the disciplines that contribute to his or her area of expertise.  Short-Course Technical Training like what is offered by Applied Technology Institute is a great way to acquire that basic level of understanding.  ATI can not replace the intensive training a scientist acquired in his or her field of expertise; there is no way a 4-day short course can substitute for a long and rigorous college education.  ATI short-courses can, however, offer a way for a scientist or engineer to become more aware of the many disciplines which work in unison with their field of expertise.  And, even within a scientist’s field of expertise, short-courses can help refresh certain areas of their training.

A complete list of upcoming ATI short-courses, as well a complete list of available short-courses can be found at the ATI homepage ( www.aticourses.com ).  We hope to see you in an upcoming ATI short-course, or an upcoming ATI Free-Session soon.

Psyched for Mission PSYCHE

NASA’s Psyche Mission is similar to other NASA missions in some ways, but different in other ways.  Psyche is similar in that bold and innovative technologies are being used to push the boundaries of deep-space exploration.  Psyche is different however, in that the launch has been pushed forward for one year due to a delay […]

NASA’s Psyche Mission is similar to other NASA missions in some ways, but different in other ways.  Psyche is similar in that bold and innovative technologies are being used to push the boundaries of deep-space exploration.  Psyche is different however, in that the launch has been pushed forward for one year due to a delay in critical testing.  Launch of Psyche is now expected in October 2023.

Psyche will be launched from Earth using a SpaceX Heavy Falcon Rocket.  This launch system has been used before, and should be effective for its purpose.  Once in deep space, however, an alternate method will be required for propelling Psyche to its ultimate destination, the Comet Psyche. As explained by NASA, “The unique, metal-rich Psyche asteroid may be part of the core of a planetesimal, a building block of rocky planets in our solar system. Learning more about the asteroid could tell us more about how our own planet formed and help answer fundamental questions about Earth’s own metal core and the formation of our solar system.”

Once beyond the orbit of the moon, Psyche will use solar electric propulsion for its 1.5 billion ( with a B ) mile trip to the asteroid Psyche which will conclude in 2026.  This will be the first spacecraft to use “Hall-Effect Thrusters” for propulsion.  As explained by NASA, this thruster technology “traps electrons in a magnetic field and uses them to ionize onboard propellant, expending much less propellant than equivalent chemical rockets.”

As a secondary mission for this spacecraft, Psyche will be used to demonstrate and test Deep Space Optical Communications.  This capability will become increasingly important as future missions are planned for areas so deep in space that current communication methods may become infeasible.

As spacecraft and space missions become more complex, the rockets that propel them will also need to become more complex.  Rocket advances must keep up with Spacecraft advances, and the Psyche Mission is one indication that Rocket scientists are up to the challenge.

If you want to learn more about Rocket Science, consider taking ATI’s upcoming course on the subject.  You can learn more about the course, and register for it, at Rockets & Launch Vehicles – Selection & Design

This four-day course provides an overview of rockets and missiles, including a fourth day covering advanced selection and design processes. The course provides a wide practical knowledge in rocket and missile issues and technologies. 

The course is right around the corner in May, so if you are interested, register today.

And, as always, if want to see the full list of courses offered by ATI, you can find that, and other interesting information at www.aticourses.com

Artemis I Mission Success, Bring on Artemis II

Mankind has always been fascinated with exploring the Moon, and that will probably always be the case.  At first, in the time leading up to the famous first moon landing in 1969, the goal was simply to reach the moon, and spend a short time looking around, and return to earth safely.  Now, 50 years […]

Mankind has always been fascinated with exploring the Moon, and that will probably always be the case.  At first, in the time leading up to the famous first moon landing in 1969, the goal was simply to reach the moon, and spend a short time looking around, and return to earth safely.  Now, 50 years later, the goal is more ambitious since technology can support so much more.  The first objective today is to reach the moon, and stay there.  The next goal would be to use the moon as a landing pad to support exploration of things beyond the moon, most notably Mars.  The NASA Artemis Missions will be the way these objectives are accomplished.

The Artemis Mission is comprised of six projects which together will allow NASA to accomplish its goals of reaching the moon, staying on the moon for long term exploration, and getting closer to the ultimate goal of being able to send men and women beyond the moon.  The six projects include:

Ground Systems – Upgrading Earth ground systems to support the larger rockets which will be needed

Space Launch System – The new and more powerful rocket that will launch man toward the moon and beyond

Orion – The spacecraft that will bring astronauts to the moon’s orbit, and return them to earth from the moon’s orbit

Gateway – The outpost spacecraft which will orbit the moon and be living quarters for the astronauts when they are not on the moon surface

Lunar Landers – The spacecraft which will transfer astronauts between the Gateway and the moon Surface, and

Space Suits – The new and improved suits that the astronauts will need to carry out their mission.

The timeline for this mission has three major milestones, namely:

Artemis I – a now-complete unmanned flight to test the Space Launch System and Orion

Artemis II – a planned manned flight to test the Space Launch System and Orion

Artemis III – A planned manned flight to the moon that will return man to the moon.

Artemis I, the mission whose goal was an unmanned flight of Orion to the moon, is now successfully completed.  The Launch was flawless in mid-November, showing the advanced capabilities of the Space Launch System.  Orion reached the moon on November 25 without any issues and orbited the moon.  On December 1, 2022, Orion will started its trip back to earth, and on Dec 11, the Artemis I mission ended with a successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

Although Artemis I is now one for the history books, there are additional Artemis missions being planned, and we hope that they will all be as spectacular and as successful as Artemis I.

ATI offers a plethora of courses which relate to Space exploration.  Check out our list of Space related courses here.    If you are interested in the legal aspects of Space exploration, you can express interest in our Astropolitics Seminar which will be offered in conjunction with the 2023 Space Symposium

Although the author thinks Space Exploration is exciting and important, and I fully endorse all of the goals of the Artemis Mission, I can’t help but wonder why the Government is not spending at least as much money on exploration of the deep oceans.  I would challenge the US to start investing more money in Ocean Exploration, but not at the expense of Space Exploration.  Both are important.  I am curious what readers think about this issue, please leave your comments below.

And, if you are interested in Ocean Exploration, ATI has a few courses which may be of interest to you too.  Please check out our full list of offerings here.

And if you simply want to learn more about the Artemis Mission, you can go to the NASA Artemis site that describes the mission in more detail. 

Artemis I Mission Being Accomplished

Mankind has always been fascinated with exploring the Moon, and that will probably always be the case.  At first, in the time leading up to the famous first moon landing in 1969, the goal was simply to reach the moon, and spend a short time looking around, and return to earth safely.  Now, 50 years […]

Mankind has always been fascinated with exploring the Moon, and that will probably always be the case.  At first, in the time leading up to the famous first moon landing in 1969, the goal was simply to reach the moon, and spend a short time looking around, and return to earth safely.  Now, 50 years later, the goal is more ambitious since technology can support so much more.  The first objective today is to reach the moon, and stay there.  The next goal would be to use the moon as a landing pad to support exploration of things beyond the moon, most notably Mars.  The NASA Artemis Missions will be the way these objectives are accomplished.

The Artemis Mission is comprised of six projects which together will allow NASA to accomplish its goals of reaching the moon, staying on the moon for long term exploration, and getting closer to the ultimate goal of being able to send men and women beyond the moon.  The six projects include:

Ground Systems – Upgrading Earth ground systems to support the larger rockets which will be needed

Space Launch System – The new and more powerful rocket that will launch man toward the moon and beyond

Orion – The spacecraft that will bring astronauts to the moon’s orbit, and return them to earth from the moon’s orbit

Gateway – The outpost spacecraft which will orbit the moon and be living quarters for the astronauts when they are not on the moon surface

Lunar Landers – The spacecraft which will transfer astronauts between the Gateway and the moon Surface, and

Space Suits – The new and improved suits that the astronauts will need to carry out their mission.

The timeline for this mission has three major milestones, namely:

Artemis I – an unmanned flight to test the Space Launch System and Orion

Artemis II – a manned flight to test the Space Launch System and Orion

Artemis III – A manned flight to the moon that will return man to the moon.

Artemis I, the mission whose goal was an unmanned flight of Orion to the moon, is now in progress.  So far, the mission has been wildly successful.  The Launch was flawless in mid-November, showing the advanced capabilities of the Space Launch System.  Orion reached the moon on November 25 without any issues and has been orbiting the moon since then.  On December 1, 2022, Orion will start its trip back to earth.

As of December 1, 5681 pounds of propellant have been used, a bit less than scientists had expected.

The trip back to earth will have include more tests than had originally been planned, and indication that NASA scientists are feeling good about the trip. 

This is a truly ambitious mission, and an even more ambitious schedule for missions that follow.

ATI offers a plethora of courses which relate to Space exploration.  Check out our list of Space related courses here.    If you are interested in the legal aspects of Space exploration, you can express interest in our Astropolitics Seminar which will be offered in conjunction with the 2023 Space Symposium

Although the author thinks Space Exploration is exciting and important, and I fully endorse all of the goals of the Artemis Mission, I can’t help but wonder why the Government is not spending at least as much money on exploration of the deep oceans.  I would challenge the US to start investing more money in Ocean Exploration, but not at the expense of Space Exploration.  Both are important.  I am curious what readers think about this issue, please leave your comments below.

And, if you are interested in Ocean Exploration, ATI has a few courses which may be of interest to you too.  Please check out our full list of offerings here.

And if you simply want to learn more about the Artemis Mission, you can go to the NASA Artemis site that describes the mission in more detail. 

Advances in Satellite Antenna Technology

Most people know what Origami is.  In case you don’t, the goal of Origami is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques.  Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper.  So, you ask, how could Origami possibly be […]

Most people know what Origami is.  In case you don’t, the goal of Origami is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques.  Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper.  So, you ask, how could Origami possibly be related to anything of interest to rocket scientists?  As you will see, there most certainly is a connection between Origami and Antenna technology.

CubeSat is a miniaturized satellite, or nanosatellite, intended for space research.  Due to their small size, large numbers of CubeSats generally perform their unique tasks by working together in large constellations.  To date, there are about 1500 CubeSat satellites in orbit.

Although technology advances have allowed satellites to be effectively miniaturized, the antenna associated with each CubeSat can not be miniaturized; the laws of physics simply do not permit the antenna to be any smaller than it is.  And, since the antenna must remain large, it would not fit in the small area inside the miniature satellite.   Since the antenna is necessary to allow the satellite to communicate with other satellites, and with earth stations, there needed to be a way to get the large antenna into the small satellite. 

As explained here, Dr. Kim and his colleagues at Pusan National University and the University of Alabama, USA, developed a new deployable antenna for CubeSats.  Inspired by the mathematics which are the root of Origami, the team designed an antenna which could be folded and stored inside the Cubesat.  Once in orbit, the antenna would be deployed, and unfolded to its full and functional size.  This new advance in Antenna design now allows nanosatellites to be part of our satellite fleet.

So, although many may have thought that antenna design could not be pushed any further, Dr. Kim proved them wrong.  What other previously unimagined advances in antenna technology are yet to be imagined?

To learn more about Antennas, consider taking the upcoming ATI course entitled Antenna and Array Fundamentals.  You can learn more about this offering, and register, here.

Lastly, as always, a full listing of ATI’s courses can be found here.

Multi-Target Tracking

How many of us actually think about automation and safety when we drive our cars? Rest assured, the Department of Transportation has a well thought-out plan which has been documented in a series of reports.  In 2017, DOT issued Automated Driving Systems, A Vision for Safety 2.0.  In 2018, the DOT expanded the scope of […]

How many of us actually think about automation and safety when we drive our cars? Rest assured, the Department of Transportation has a well thought-out plan which has been documented in a series of reports.  In 2017, DOT issued Automated Driving Systems, A Vision for Safety 2.0.  In 2018, the DOT expanded the scope of their guidance to all surface on-road transportation systems when they issued Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0.  Most recently, in 2020, DOT again expanded the scope of their guidance when they issued Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0.  

The concepts described in this series of reports date back to second half of the twentieth century (1950 -2000) when engineers concentrated on the most rudimentary safety and convenience features such as seat belts, cruise control, and anti-lock brakes.  During the next 10 years ( 2000 – 2010 ), engineers worked on advanced safety features like blind spot detection, and warnings for lane departure and forward collisions.  These advances simply alerted the driver to a potential safety issue, but still did nothing to remedy the situation.  From 2010 to 2016, engineers came up with driver assistance features like automatic emergency braking and lane centering assist.  These features were the start of the path toward fully automated vehicles.  From 2016 to 2025, we will become acquainted with partially automated safety features like adaptive cruise control and self-park.  All of this should lead us to a fully automated vehicle capable of driving on highways using autopilot in the years following 2025.  It has been a relatively short span of time, and there have been many advances in automated vehicle technology.

As automobile drivers, we are not really sure how these automated systems work.  We simply know that they work, and we are glad that they are there to help us out.  Behind the scenes, however, engineers and scientist are thinking about the requirements and designs and continuously developing ways to advance the state of the art. 

While radars were once only associated with complex military systems, they are becoming more common today in cars that require them for many of the automated features that have been developed over the years.  Simple radar technology is behind many of the collision avoidance features in today’s cars, and it was instrumental in turning simple cruise control into adaptive cruise control.   In order for automated features in cars to advance, however, so to must the state of the art in radar.  One such advance in radar technology is its ability to not only detect a target, but to track it too.  And then, another advance is its ability to track multiple targets at the same time.  Advances in this technology will truly advance our ability to move closer to the goal a fully automated vehicle.

To learn more about advances in multi target tracking, consider enrolling in the upcoming offering of ATI’s Multi Target Tracking and Multi Sensor Data Fusion.  The objective of this course is to introduce engineers, scientists, managers, and military operations personnel to the fields of radar tracking, data fusion and to the key technologies which are available today for application to this field. The course is designed to be rigorous where appropriate, while remaining accessible to students without a specific scientific background in this field.

Also, take a look at the schedule of other upcoming ATI courses here.    

Target Motion Analysis, What’s That, You Ask?

Target Motion Analysis Sonar and Target Motion Analysis Fundamentals is a course being offered by ATI starting on December 19.  If you are a submarine sonarman, or if you are an engineer developing tools for use by submarine sonarmen, then this is the course for you!  You surely already understand the meaning and importance of […]

Target Motion Analysis

Sonar and Target Motion Analysis Fundamentals is a course being offered by ATI starting on December 19. 

If you are a submarine sonarman, or if you are an engineer developing tools for use by submarine sonarmen, then this is the course for you!  You surely already understand the meaning and importance of Target Motion Analysis, and this class will offer insights that you may not have been exposed to in your Navy or workplace training.

Surface Ships use Radar in much the same way that Submarines use Sonar.  One major difference between Surface Ships and Submarines is that stealth is critical to the submarine, and less important to the surface ship.  So, submarines typically do not want to emit any energy from their ship, as that would be detectable by the adversary.  As a result, while Surface Ship Radar actively emits energy, submarine sonar does not.  Submarine Sonars act passively; it only listens to naturally occurring noise, it does not transmit any energy.

When a Surface Ship Radar emits a pulse and listens for a return, the radarman is able to pinpoint the precise location of the contact.  Over time, he can examine the track of his contact, and use this information for tactical purposes.  The process is fairly simple compared to what happens on a submarine.

When a submarine sonarman hears a contact using his passive sonar, he knows nothing more than the direction it is coming from.  Over time, he can develop a time history of the direction to the contact, but that is not the same as a Target Track.  The time history of target direction is of little use for tactical planners; they need to know the track of the contact, which includes the contacts range and direction of travel.  In order to convert the time history of target direction into a usable contact track, the sonarman, or the sonarman’s computer programs, must execute “Target Motion Analysis”.

If you find this explanation interesting, or if it sounds like something that you may be able to apply to your work, please consider joining us for this class.  You can learn more about the class, and register for it here.

A complete listing of all of the courses that ATI can offer upon request can be found here.

Certified Systems Engineering Prep ( CSEP ) Exam Preparation

How many of you know about the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) or the various INCOSE Certifications including Associate Systems Engineering Professional ( ASEP ), Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP), or Expert Systems Engineering Professional ( ESEP )? The purpose of this Blog post is to enlighten those who are not aware of the […]

How many of you know about the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) or the various INCOSE Certifications including Associate Systems Engineering Professional ( ASEP ), Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP), or Expert Systems Engineering Professional ( ESEP )?

The purpose of this Blog post is to enlighten those who are not aware of the INCOSE organization, or the INCOSE certifications.  Both of these are things that most Systems Engineers should already know about, and if you don’t, you may find this informative.

INCOSE is comprised of nearly 20,000 Systems Engineering Professionals.  Their mission, as stated on their web page, is “to address complex societal and technical challenges by enabling, promoting, and advancing Systems Engineering and systems approaches.”  Also from their web page, the goals of INCOSE are to 1) be a focal point for dissemination of systems engineering knowledge, 2) promote international collaboration 3) Assure the establishment of professional standards in systems engineering, 4) improve the professional status of all systems engineers, and 5) encourage governmental and industrial support for Systems Engineering.  There is a wealth of other information on their web page, so anyone interested in INCOSE should visit the INCOSE Web site.

One of the services that INCOSE has provided is a mechanism for Systems Engineers to be certified at some level as a Systems Engineering Professional ( ASEP, CSEP or ESEP ), indicating that they have met all of the standards defined by INCOSE, indicating that the individual is a qualified Systems Engineer.   Earning an INCOSE certification is not easy, but it is something that over 3000 individuals have accomplished to date.

Mark Wilson, from Strategy Bridge and INCOSE recently published a study where he pontificates on whether or not the INCOSE CSEP certification is worthwhile.   Warning, spoilers coming, leave this page immediately if you don’t want to know how the story ends …….  He concludes that the INCOSE SE certifications ARE worthwhile, both for the individual who earns the certification, and for the organization that employs that individual.

Earning the ASEP certification requires that the individual pass a rigorous exam demonstrating knowledge of Systems Engineering concepts.  CSEP certification also requires that the individual have a demonstrated track record of having worked successfully in a Systems Engineering role.  ESEP certification simply raises the bar and requires more experience.    To prepare for the exam, candidates often take a short-course which reviews many of the concepts that are tested.

Applied Technology Institute offers a 3-day short course called CSEP Preparation which will prepare students for the INCOSE SE exam, applicable to any of the three certification levels.  This course walks through the CSEP requirements and the INCOSE Handbook to cover all topics that might be on the INCOSE exam. Interactive work, study plans, and three sets of sample examination questions help you to prepare effectively for the exam. Participants leave the course with solid knowledge, a hard copy of the INCOSE Handbook, study plans, and a sample examination.

ATI will be offering the next CSEP Prep ( live virtual ) class starting on November 15, 2022.  Students may register for this class using the link above. 

We hope to see you at the CSEP Prep course in November. 

If you are interested in other courses currently offered by ATI, you can view our schedule of upcoming classes here.

Tik-Tok and Software Defined Radio

I love Tik Tok.  In fact, my associates at ATI often tire of me telling them about the newest trends that are being copied over and over again on Tik Tok.  It is amusing to see how so many people can create a similar video and do it in their own unique way. One trend […]

I love Tik Tok.  In fact, my associates at ATI often tire of me telling them about the newest trends that are being copied over and over again on Tik Tok.  It is amusing to see how so many people can create a similar video and do it in their own unique way.

One trend that is very popular now is videos where a teenager is asked about the meaning of words or phrases that were popular back in the dark ages ( the 70’s and 80’s ).  It is amusing to see how today’s kids are so unaware of the words or phrases that are obvious to old fogies like me. 

I started thinking about a new trend that would be fun.  What if kids were to present older people with words that they are familiar with, to see if the older folks knew what the word or phrase meant?  Now that might be interesting.

Let’s imagine what words your kid might challenge you with.

How would you react if your kid presented you with the phrase “Software Defined Radio”? 

Your first reaction might be something like …. “Did you mean Radio, because I AM familiar with that term?  I used to have a radio in my Chevelle!”  But, your kid responds ….. “ NO! I said Software Defined Radio.  Its nothing like what you had in your Chevelle.  I learned about it in school today, and I want to learn more about programming SDR in an engineering program at college next year!”  You sheepishly admit that you never heard of Software Defined Radio.

Wikipedia tells us that Software-defined radio (SDR) is a communication system where components that have been traditionally implemented in analog hardware are instead implemented by means of software on a personal computer. Said differently, if you took apart the radio in your old car, you would find lots of hardware ( transistors, capacitors, resistors, etc. ).  If you took apart a radio in your new car, you would find only chips which contain software that is controlling your radio.

SDR is an up-and-coming area which all of us should be aware of.  And, if you are an engineer who has a working knowledge of C++ and Python in Linux, then maybe you would want to learn about how to build Software Defined Radios.

ATI is offering Software Defined Radio; Practical Applications in October 2022.  Take a look at the course description here, and if looks like a course you may be interested in, please register for the class at that same site.  Remember, a working knowledge of C++ and Python in Linux is necessary for this class.

And, as always, if you want to see the full set of courses offered at ATI, please visit us at www.aticourses.com.

Business Management for Scientists and Engineers

Historically, Applied Technology Institute has delivered scientists and engineers technical courses to help them keep current in their fields.  As stated in our mission statement, we have offered courses in satellite communications, space, defense, radar, sonar and acoustics, signal processing, and systems engineering.  Although we plan to continue doing exactly that, we are also going […]

Historically, Applied Technology Institute has delivered scientists and engineers technical courses to help them keep current in their fields.  As stated in our mission statement, we have offered courses in satellite communications, space, defense, radar, sonar and acoustics, signal processing, and systems engineering.  Although we plan to continue doing exactly that, we are also going to be offering some new courses that will be unlike what we have offered before. 

“Business Management for Scientists and Engineers” will be taught by Dr. Alan Tribble, author of the book with the same title.  This two-day course is intended to accelerate professional growth by helping individuals with a technical background develop an appreciation for, and understanding of, the types of business knowledge used by senior leadership. 

A recent inquiry to ATI suggested that a general business management class such as ours would be of limited usefulness because it would concentrate more on general business practices rather than business practices the workplace where the inquirer worked.  He was more interested in the ways that his own company conducted internal business management, and he argued that he could better spend his time taking an internal course concentrating on business practices at his own company. 

We discussed his concern, and he soon came to realize he was thinking about it all wrong.

General business management class like ATI’s and the internal business management classes are not meant to be mutually exclusive.  In fact, the best way for a Scientist or Engineer to learn about business management is to first learn about general business management topics that apply to all Engineering Firms, and then to learn about specific practices from your own company by taking an Internal course offered by your employer.  The general business management class offered by ATI and the business management class offered by your employer are complementary.  Ideally, a scientist should take both classes to be fully versed on business management practices he may encounter daily.

If you think you may be interested in taking the ATI course “Business Management for Scientists and Engineers”, ATI has a way that you meet the instructor and learn about the course content before you make your decision.  Consider attending the free one-hour virtual short-session where the instructor will talk about the topic, and discuss course content.  If you want to register for the free short-session, or the full course, you can find more information or register here. 

Both the short session and the full class are right around the corner, so please don’t delay.

And, as always, if you want to see the full set of courses offered at ATI, please visit us at www.aticourses.com.