Innovating With Radar

I am a person who always wants to know how things work.  I can not simply use some fancy feature on my device.  I must figure out how the feature works, and test it to see if I can figure out if the engineer was thorough in the design of the feature.  This trait in […]

I am a person who always wants to know how things work.  I can not simply use some fancy feature on my device.  I must figure out how the feature works, and test it to see if I can figure out if the engineer was thorough in the design of the feature.  This trait in me comes from many years of being the engineer designing the feature, and sometimes overlooking things that the end-user eventually points out to me. 

I recently found myself experimenting with the Cruise Control System on my new car.  I have had cars with Cruise Control before, but this car’s Cruise Control was far more complex than anything I had seen in my old car, and I had to know how it worked. 

The cruise control in my old car allowed me to set the desired speed of the car; that was all it did.  If I set the cruise the control for 60 mph, and steered into a brick wall, I would impact the wall at 60 mph, and die.  The new car contained something which it called “Adaptive Cruise Control”, and it was there to protect idiots who might find themselves steering toward a brick wall at 60 mph.

With Adaptive Cruise Control, there is a radar mounted inside the grill on the front of the car, and there is a Cruise Control Computer which takes inputs from many sources, primarily the radar, and sends commands to your accelerator actuator.  This radar points a beam ahead of the car.  The radar senses what is ahead of the car, and the speed of what is ahead of the car, and adjusts your vehicles speed as required to prevent you from hitting whatever is in front of you.  If necessary, as in the case of the brick wall, it will even stop you prior to impact, theoretically. 

Wow, I thought.  I need to test this.  I need to figure out what the engineer forgot to consider.  No, for those who may be thinking this, I did not try driving into a brick wall.

Amazingly, my Adaptive Cruise Control worked flawlessly, even though I sometimes could not figure how it knew what it knew.  For example, if there is a cement barrier following a curve in the road, how does it keep the radar pointed at the car I am following, and not the barrier which is directly in front of me in the curve?  Obviously, Cruise Control Computer must be getting inputs from my steering wheel, so it knows I am in a curve, and it steers the beam in the direction of the curve.  Brilliant.

The use of increasingly sophisticated Radar technology in our cars today is pushing the limits of what used to be unimaginable.  And, increasingly sophisticated Radars can be used in almost anything, not just cars, so the opportunity for innovation in Radar is limitless.

If you would like to learn more about radar so you can innovate new uses for radar, consider taking the upcoming ATI course Radar – Basic Principles.  This course is intended for scientists, engineers, and technical managers who require an introduction to the basic principles and techniques used in modern radar systems.  This is a new 3-day ATI course which replaces previous ATI Courses Radar 101 and Radar 201, which are no longer being offered.  You can learn more about Radar – Basic Principles, and register for it here.

And, as always, you can learn about the full set of courses offered by ATI at www.aticourses.com

What The Heck is Astropolitics?

Since ATI has offered a course called Astropolitics for many years, and since our Astropolitics instructor is a noted expert in his field, and since we have an upcoming offering of Astropolitics, it only seemed natural that I, the new Science Advisor for ATI, should figure out “What the Heck is Astropolitics?” Most of the […]

Since ATI has offered a course called Astropolitics for many years, and since our Astropolitics instructor is a noted expert in his field, and since we have an upcoming offering of Astropolitics, it only seemed natural that I, the new Science Advisor for ATI, should figure out “What the Heck is Astropolitics?”

Most of the definitions found on the internet seem to say that Astropolitics is the theory and study of the effects that Space has on politics.  Seemingly, any political decision by any country which involves Space issues or Space implications would fall under Astropolitics.

Astropolitics includes topics such as International Space Treaties, Space Law, International Conflict in Space Exploration, and International Space Economics.  The one topic addressed by Astropolitics which the author finds most compelling is the political impact of any contact which may someday occur with extraterrestrial intelligence.  That’s right, the body that conceived of and defined the field of Astropolitics actually considered the possibility that mankind may someday discover intelligent life someplace besides earth.  As an editorial note, the author of this blog finds this inclusion to be compelling, because of his firm belief that intelligent extraterrestrial life does exist elsewhere, although it may not be discovered in our lifetime, or forever, for that matter (and I certainly do not believe these lifeforms have ever visited earth, yet.)  Although there is no currently accepted doctrine for how countries will react to the discovery of extraterrestrial life, there are ongoing efforts by multiple countries to develop a set of structured rules, standards, guidelines, or actions that governmental entities plan to follow in the event of confirmed signals form extraterrestrial civilizations.  Perhaps there are even Astropolitics discussions occurring today in some extraterrestrial civilization.  Of note, extraterrestrials are always welcome to attend ATI courses if they have a way to travel to live classes, log into virtual classes, and pay with earth currency.

For many ATI courses, including our upcoming Astropolitics Course, potential students have the opportunity to attend a free one-hour virtual short-session.  This is an opportunity for students to learn more about what will be covered in the course, and meet the instructor.  Even if you have no intention of taking the full course, you may find the Free session informative, and you may even change your mind about attending the full course.  You can learn more about both the Astropolitics Free Session, and Astropolitics – ATI Courses at these links.  While there, you will also be able to register for the Free Session or the Class, or both.

And, as always, you can learn about the full set of courses offered by ATI at www.aticourses.com

This Sounds So Cool ( See what I did there? )

There are so many applications of Acoustics in every day life.  In fact, scientists are coming up with new applications every day.  Many people think of the most popular applications of Acoustics like Ranging and Imaging.  If you think the only applications of Acoustics are Sonar and Ultra Sound Imaging, you would be so wrong. […]

There are so many applications of Acoustics in every day life.  In fact, scientists are coming up with new applications every day.  Many people think of the most popular applications of Acoustics like Ranging and Imaging.  If you think the only applications of Acoustics are Sonar and Ultra Sound Imaging, you would be so wrong.

For example, China has discovered that they can use Acoustics to help them deal with the effects of Global Warming.  In order to increase their water supply during drought periods, China has discovered that by aiming low frequency sound waves at clouds, they can stimulate that cloud into dropping rainfall when it otherwise would not have done so.

As another example, China has also discovered a more efficient way to limit the number of plastic fibers that get come out of washing machines and get released into the drain.  This was required because conventional filters on washing machines do not catch the tiny fibers that can be so destructive to the marine ecosystem.  By using Acoustic filters that produce a type of forcefield in the water, all the fibers can be collected.

Going forward, finding new and important applications for Acoustics is ripe for technical innovation.

To learn more about applications of Acoustics, consider taking the upcoming ATI course  Acoustic Fundamentals, Measurements, and Applications.

This four-day course is intended for engineers and other technical personnel and managers who have a work-related need to understand basic acoustics concepts and how to measure and analyze sound. This is an introductory course and participants need not have any prior knowledge of sound or vibration. Each topic is illustrated by relevant applications, in-class demonstrations, and worked-out numerical examples. The instructor for this course reaches out to all registered students prior to the class to learn about their interests so he can tailor the course to meet their needs.  The upcoming offering of this course is Guaranteed-To-Run.

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

Acoustics Fundamentals, Measurements, and Applications – ATI Courses

And, as always, you can learn about the full set of courses offered by ATI at www.aticourses.com

ATI Now Offers On-Demand Systems Engineering Training

Today’s complex systems present difficult challenges to develop. From military systems to aircraft to environmental and IT systems, development teams must face the challenges with an arsenal of proven methods. Systems Engineering allows us to take advantage of specialization to help reduce cost and schedule in developing successful systems. So, you know that this is […]

Today’s complex systems present difficult challenges to develop. From military systems to aircraft to environmental and IT systems, development teams must face the challenges with an arsenal of proven methods. Systems Engineering allows us to take advantage of specialization to help reduce cost and schedule in developing successful systems.

So, you know that this is an important skill that you need learn; no question about that. 

But, what can you do if your you or your employer simply can’t afford the time or money to take the full SE Fundamentals course offered by ATI?  Well, ATI now has a solution to that problem that may be of interest to you.

Systems Engineering – Fundamentals ON-DEMAND is a concise and portable pre-recorded series of 6 self-contained modules.  The on-demand class is taught by the same instructor who teaches more conventional SE classes for ATI.  Each module is approximately one hour long and covers the underlying attitudes as well as the process definitions that makeup systems engineering.  The model presented is a research-proven combination of the best existing standards.  

This 6-Module course can be played on any browser and is available 24/7/60:  around the clock for 60 days.   You will be able to ask questions of the instructors via email for 90 days from the date of activation.  Activation will occur during normal business hours ET.   The downloadable course slides are yours to keep.

  To learn more about this exciting new opportunity, or to register for this Course, please visit:

On Demand Courses – ATI Courses

And, as always, you can learn about the full set of courses offered by ATI, including other  Systems Engineering Classes which are not offered on-demand, at www.aticourses.com

Enabling Powerful Internet Of Things ( IOTs)

Most people do not need to use a satellite to connect to the internet; they connect through wi-fi that is readily available in most urban places.  If you are in a remote location, however, you may need to connect to the internet, and Satellite Communications may be your only option.  These kinds of remote connections […]

Most people do not need to use a satellite to connect to the internet; they connect through wi-fi that is readily available in most urban places.  If you are in a remote location, however, you may need to connect to the internet, and Satellite Communications may be your only option.  These kinds of remote connections are becoming increasingly important as continuous reliable internet connectivity becomes critical for many operations.

A collection of physical devices each of which contain sensors and software, each of which are connected to the internet, and can communicate with each other via the internet, to provide some service with wide area coverage, is referred to as in Internet of Things ( IOT.)  IOTs are becoming increasingly powerful and important.  Some examples of IOTs are connected appliances, smart home security systems, autonomous farm equipment, and wireless inventory trackers.  Each of these examples rely on the fact that each physical device in the IOT is continuously reliably connected to the internet.

Sometimes, devices which comprise an IOT are in a remote area, and cannot be connected to wi-fi networks often taken for granted.  For example, autonomous farm equipment is typically operating on large farms which are outside of the range of wi-fi.  Wireless inventory trackers are often on merchant ships traveling between ports in ocean areas that do not have wi-fi connectivity.  In these cases, it is critical that the devices be able to connect to the internet using satellite communications.

So, many practicing engineers need to be familiar with Satellite Communications.

ATI offers a course called Satellite Communications Design and Engineering.   This three-day course is designed as a practical course for practicing engineers, and is intended for communications engineers, spacecraft engineers, managers and technical professionals who want both the “big picture” and a fundamental understanding of satellite communications. The course is technically oriented and includes examples from real-world satellite communications systems. It will enable participants to understand the key drivers in satellite link design and to perform their own satellite link budget calculations. The course will especially appeal to those whose objective is to develop quantitative computational skills in addition to obtaining a qualitative familiarity with the basic concepts.  You can learn more about this course, and register here.

And, as always, you can learn about the full set of courses offered by ATI at www.aticourses.com

Don’t Miss Out On This

ATI will be offering Business Management for Scientists and Engineers for the first time on May 24. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get some great insights from our two esteemed Instructors, Dr. Alan Tribble and Mr. Alan Breitbart. Business Management for Scientists and Engineers will help technical professionals understand how to leverage technical excellence to create […]

ATI will be offering Business Management for Scientists and Engineers for the first time on May 24. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get some great insights from our two esteemed Instructors, Dr. Alan Tribble and Mr. Alan Breitbart.

Business Management for Scientists and Engineers will help technical professionals understand how to leverage technical excellence to create business success. The course is focused on conveying an understanding of basic business principles and illustrating how they intersect with the technical factors that govern an engineer’s career. This knowledge can make you a more effective engineer, by showing you how to tailor your message to address the key points business leaders look for when making decisions. It can also create opportunities to transition from the role of a technical contributor to that of a business leader. Most of the examples used are from the aerospace and defense industry, but the key lessons would apply equally well to other industries. 

The Instructors for this course are excited about this class.

Dr. Alan Tribble is an Associate Director of Program Management in the aerospace and defense industry. He started his technical career as a space environment effects specialist for a major spacecraft manufacturer and also supported airborne communications and navigation products before making the leap to the business side. He spent several years in international business development before moving into program management. He holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of Arkansas, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Iowa; is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute; and is the winner of the 2008 James A. Van Allen Space Environments Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 

Mr. Alan Breitbart is a business development manager in the aerospace and defense industry. He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois, and an MBA in International Marketing from Loyola University.

A message from Dr. Tribble………

I’m pleased to report that the second edition of the book Business Management for Scientists and Engineers is finally in press. That means it’s now full speed ahead as we focus on updating and finalizing the presentation material for the course.  

I’m getting excited now that we’re only a month away, and I get even more excited when I get email like the one below that I received over the weekend:  “Having provided engineering services and consulting for a long time, I learned the value of knowing something about business. But I wish that I had started with your webinar or book 20 years ago!” – Mark Pittelkau, Aerospace Control Systems, LLC

Wow! What a great endorsement. I’m looking forward to a great webinar on May 24th and 25th. Hope you can join us.

Please visit Business Management for Scientists and Engineers – ATI Courses to learn more about the course, and to register to attend.

We hope to see you there.

System of (System of Systems)

An individual can be very powerful, but when you get many people working together to accomplish a task, the result can be much better than if each person solved the problem independently.  Clearly, the reason that the group is stronger than the sum of the parts is because each person can work on that portion […]

An individual can be very powerful, but when you get many people working together to accomplish a task, the result can be much better than if each person solved the problem independently.  Clearly, the reason that the group is stronger than the sum of the parts is because each person can work on that portion of the problem that they are most suited for, and there can be an efficient division of labor.  Obviously, this group needs to be well organized so it can work together efficiently, and there must be frequent communication between the people. 

This example of people working together on a complicated task is not unlike “Systems of Systems (SoS) Engineering.”

When designing a very simple system, one could imagine doing the job by themselves, with very little need to consult a larger group, or enlist the services of other engineers.  This may not be the case, however, for a very large and complex system.

Although a simple System may be made of individual components, a complex system will likely be made up of a group of individual systems.  Designing a complex system made up of many simpler systems is referred to as SoS Engineering.  In fact, each of the Systems in a SoS may itself be a SoS.  So, as the title of this blog implies, you could actually have an SoSoSoSoS.

For example, we might consider an Air Traffic Control System to be a SoS.  This SoS would be comprised of many smaller systems; airport, airplanes, cars, traffic control systems, etc.  If we look at one of these systems, cars for example, we notice that it is actually a SoS; brake system, motor, chassis, etc.  And, we could even drill down further as each of these systems might actually be a SoS.

To determine if a complex system qualifies as a SoS, it has to have five characteristics; 

-Each of the Systems that comprise the SoS has to have operational independence.  If you removed the system from the SoS, it would still operate as designed.

-Each of the Systems that comprise the SoS has to be managed independently.  Each System has to manage its own operation, but no system should affect the management of the SoS.

-The SoS must perform a task that could not be accomplished alone by any individual system.  When Systems are combined into a SoS, there is an expectation that “Emergent Behaviors” will result, and the SoS will accomplish tasks that could not have been performed by any one of the systems by itself.  Of note, sometimes Emergent Behaviors can be undesired, and when that occurs, the engineer must address that issue.

-Each of the individual systems are geographically distributed

-Each of the systems are being constantly reviewed to ensure upgrades are not required to allow the system to continue to contribute positively to the SoS.

ATI offers a class which will teach you about designing an effective SoS. 

To learn more about our System of Systems Class, you can read about it here.  If you would like to take this class, please let us know so we can schedule an open-enrollment offering.  Or, if you would like ATI to teach this class to a larger group at your facility, please contact us and inquire about our Custom Courses.

Optical Communications Systems

Optical Communications Systems may sound very complicated, and they certainly can be very complicated, but they don’t have to be.  Think back to when you were a kid and you developed a system with your buddy who lived across the street.  You would blink your flashlight in the window two times to indicate that you […]

Optical Communications Systems may sound very complicated, and they certainly can be very complicated, but they don’t have to be. 

Think back to when you were a kid and you developed a system with your buddy who lived across the street.  You would blink your flashlight in the window two times to indicate that you were still awake, and your buddy might blink his flashlight two times to indicate that he was too.  This was an Optical Communication System in its most basic form.

As a Boy Scout, you may have learned to communicate with other scouts using two semaphore flags.  You could certainly relay more information than you did using flashlights in the window, but it was still a very basic Optical Communication System with many limitations.

Optical Communications simply refers to relaying information a distance using light to carry the information.  It can be performed visually, as in the two previous examples, or by using electronic devices.  Clearly, using electronic devices is more complex, and a more powerful way to communicate.

Typically, an optical communication system will include three components.  The Transmitter encodes the message into an optical signal.  The Channel carries the signal to its destination.  And, finally, the receiver which reproduces the original message.

The are two types of channels that can be used in a modern complex optical communication system.  Fiber optic cables can relay messages from the transmitter to the receiver, or, the message can be relayed on a laser beam.  Clearly, using a laser beam to channel the message is more conducive to long distance transmission, or transmission that needs to occur in free space. 

Optical Comms Systems have advantages over RF and Microwave Comms Systems due to their directionality, and high frequency carrier. These properties can lead to greater covertness, freedom from jamming, and potentially much higher data rates.

If you want to learn more, ATI offers Optical Communications Systems.  The course provides a strong foundation for selecting, designing and building either a Free Space Optical Comms, or Fiber-Optic Comms System for various applications. Course includes both DoD and Commercial systems, in Space, Atmospheric, Underground, and Underwater Applications.  You can learn more about this course, and register for it here.

And, as always, you can learn about the full set of courses offered by ATI at www.aticourses.com

Public Speaking For STEM Professionals

I was a very quiet and shy kid, and I think that must have been evident to the adult Scout Leader that was presenting a lecture to a large group of early teenage Boy Scouts attending Leadership Training back in the 70’s.  The lesson on this one day was Public Speaking, and the leader’s goal […]

I was a very quiet and shy kid, and I think that must have been evident to the adult Scout Leader that was presenting a lecture to a large group of early teenage Boy Scouts attending Leadership Training back in the 70’s.  The lesson on this one day was Public Speaking, and the leader’s goal was to demonstrate the importance of being well-prepared when delivering a speech.  As an object lesson, the instructor had found a charismatic kid the day before, and directed that kid to prepare a speech on some subject of the kid’s choosing, and to be prepared to deliver that speech on this day.  He was to become the example of a well-prepared speech.  On class day, the leader singled me out of the group, called me to the front, and announced that I would give a speech on a topic that the leader chose for me, and I was to start speaking immediately.  Needless to say, the speech did not go well, and I became his example of a not-well-prepared speech.  It was a horrifying experience for me, and no Scout Leader would do something so thoughtless to a kid today, but as horrifying and embarrassing as it was for me that day, it was also a memorable and important event which I still remember vividly over 50 years later.

After attending college, I got a job which required that I present the results of my work to the customer on a routine basis.  My first presentation did not go very well, and although I did not get fired, both my boss and I decided that there was lots of room for improvement.  That night, while thinking about what went wrong, I realized that I had fallen into the trap that my Scout Leader had warned against.  I had given that presentation without being prepared for all possible eventualities.  I had not been prepared to proceed if my overhead projector did not work, and it didn’t.  I had not been prepared to cover some topics in the event that my associate missed his flight, which he did.  And, I had not been prepared to answer some tough questions which my customers may have asked, and they did.  Over the span of my career, I worked hard to always be better prepared when I spoke, and I eventually became very proficient at public speaking.  In fact, later in my career, I started teaching, an occupation that requires public speaking skills more than any other, in my opinion.

STEM professionals need to be proficient in Public Speaking just as much as any other professional worker.  Although many STEM students are academically gifted, many may also lack social skills that other students take for granted, for example, Public Speaking.  For that reason, Public Speaking Instruction is a very important component of a STEM student’s coursework in all levels of schooling, and even in the professional workplace which follows schooling.  One can never be too smart in their social skills, or over -prepared to deliver a good speech.   

Applied Technology Institute has offered technical short courses for scientists and engineers since 1984.  This year, ATI has decided to start offering non-technical short courses that can also be very important for scientist and engineers.  One of our first non-technical offerings is a class on Public Speaking.  The course will be taught by Mr. Frank DiBartolomeo, award winning public speaker, engaging seminar leader, and professional public speaking coach.  His short course will be titled “Technical Presentation Skills for STEM Professionals.”  Although the full course will be offered in April, there will be a free one-hour short session offered virtually in March.  This will be an opportunity to meet the instructor and see what is covered in the full course.  If you would like to learn more about the free session, or the course, or register for either or both, you can do that here.

As always, a full listing of ATI Courses can be found at www.aticourses.com

Counter UAS Operations

A drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  There is usually a person who has some degree of control over the drone or AUV.   Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) refers to the system which includes both the drone and the person who controls it. I often see drones being used for recreational purpose and for smart […]

A drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  There is usually a person who has some degree of control over the drone or AUV.   Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) refers to the system which includes both the drone and the person who controls it.

I often see drones being used for recreational purpose and for smart business purposes.  Although there are a lot of good and beneficial uses for drones today, they are now also being used for more nefarious purposes.  Drones have become an integral part of most battlefield scenarios and tacticians are finding new uses for drones every day.

In the early days of drone technology, everyone was thinking about new and novel ways to do good things with drones.  Unfortunately, we are now in a time when we must also think about ways to counter some drones that may be trying to do bad things to us, both in the battlefield and in the homeland.

Robin Radar Systems recently reported on technologies which could be considered for defending against drones, referred to as Counter UAS Operations.  They discussed a wide range of methods to counter today’s systems with methods that can be implemented today.

Counter UAS Operations involve both monitoring for the presence of drones, and countermeasures to debilitate the drone once detected.

Monitoring for Drones can be done using a variety of methods.

-Radio Frequency Analyzers can continuously analyze the RF spectrum and look for signals which are characteristic of drones.

-Acoustic Sensors can continuously analyze the audible spectrum and look for noises which are characteristic of drones.

-Optical Sensors ( Cameras ) can continuously look at the area and search for objects that look like drones either, automatically, or with the help of an operator.

-Radar can also be used to emit energy into the airspace and look for active returns that are characteristic of signals expected from a drone, again either automatically or with the help of an operator.  

Once a drone has been detected, the Counter UAS System needs to debilitate that drone.  This can be done by destroying the drone, or simply neutralizing the drone so that it can not accomplish its mission.  This can be done in a number of ways.

-A Radio Frequency Jammer can be employed and used to transmit RF energy toward the drone interrupting communications with the controller, if there is one.  Of course, this will be ineffective if the drone is operating autonomously.

-A GPS spoofer can be used to send a new GPS signal to the drone, resulting in the drone getting lost and being unable to conduct its mission.

-High Power Microwave Devices can be used to generate large Electromagnetic Pulses ( EMP ) which will render most electronic devices, including drones, inoperable.

-Nets and Guns can be used to shoot the drone out of the sky or catch the drone and render it inoperable.

-A high energy laser can be used to destroy the drone.

-Birds of Prey can be trained to hunt and destroy drones.

Robin Radar Systems points out the most effective Counter UAS strategy does not involve a single monitoring method or a single countermeasure method, but a combination of both.  By doing so, you take advantage of the benefits of some methods and hedge your bets against the weaknesses of others.

To learn more about Counter UAS operations, consider taking the upcoming ATI course titled Counter UAS Technology and Techniques.  This three-day course delivers a thorough overview promoting an understanding and building a successful Counter Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) architecture. You can learn more about the course, and register for it here.

And as always, a full listing of all the courses in the ATI catalogue can be found at www.aticourses.com

ATI Is Offering Free Stuff

You have heard that technical training is very important, but it often takes a back seat to doing the “real work.”  Wait, what?  Isn’t keeping abreast in your field part of your “real work”?  Doesn’t keeping current in your field better allow you to continue performing at your peak, and allow your company to continue […]

You have heard that technical training is very important, but it often takes a back seat to doing the “real work.”  Wait, what?  Isn’t keeping abreast in your field part of your “real work”?  Doesn’t keeping current in your field better allow you to continue performing at your peak, and allow your company to continue to thrive?  Technical Training is important, especially during the current fiscal climate.

Technical Training Companies, like Applied Technology Institute, are here to help.   If you are a scientist or engineer, we probably have courses that you will find useful and interesting.  You can view our offerings at www.aticourses.com

You have heard that technical training is too expensive.  Wait, what?  The return on your investment in technical training can be immense, so the cost should not be a factor.  Maybe ATI can help here.

You have heard that technical training often is not what is promised, or that the instructor turned out to be a real dud.  Wait, what?  Maybe ATI can help here too.

ATI recently introduced “Free Short Sessions.”  These sessions are live virtual previews of an upcomimg ATI course, presented by the actual instructor.  As the name implies, they are totally free, and as the name also implies, they are short, one hour in duration.  We hold these Free Short Sessions during the mid-day ( Eastern Time ), so that many of our students can attend them with a sandwich in their hand during their lunch break.  These sessions allow students to see what will be covered in the full course, and it allows them to meet the Instructor.  After the short session, the student will know what to expect.

ATI has been conducting two or three Free Short Sessions per month since last Fall, and everyone seems to be very happy with them.  Even if you have no intention of taking the course, consider attending the Free Session so you can become a little smarter on the topic.  Who knows, ATI and the instructor may even convince you to sign up for the course.

You can find a complete schedule of upcoming ATI courses, including our Free Short Sessions, at www.aticourses.com .  You can also register for courses and short sessions from that page.

We hope to see you at an upcoming Free Short Session.  Feel free to bring a sandwich, and a friend.  Dress code is casual. 

Rockets and Launch Vehicles

As I looked at the title of the upcoming ATI course called Rockets and Launch Vehicles, the first question I asked myself was “What is the difference between a rocket and a launch vehicle?  With the help of google, I learned that all launch vehicles are rockets, but not all rockets are launch vehicles.  A […]

As I looked at the title of the upcoming ATI course called Rockets and Launch Vehicles, the first question I asked myself was “What is the difference between a rocket and a launch vehicle?  With the help of google, I learned that all launch vehicles are rockets, but not all rockets are launch vehicles.  A rocket that is powerful enough to send people, satellites, or spacecrafts into space is called a Launch Vehicle.  So, those things you would build and shoot into the sky as a kid are rockets, but they are not launch vehicles.

Rockets, including launch vehicles, take off by burning fuel, which produces a gas byproduct.  That escaping gas produces the force that creates the thrust to power the rocket upward.

Most launch vehicles need multiple stages to produce enough thrust get a spacecraft into space.  These stages usually sit on top of each other, but there also some designs which have the stages parallel to each other; it all depends on the goals of the mission.  The first stage, the stage closest to the ground, is usually the largest.  Its purpose is to lift the spacecraft above the earth’s atmosphere to a height of about 150,000 feet.  The purpose of the second stage, the stage closest to the spacecraft, is to get the spacecraft to achieve orbital velocity.  Usually, when a stage has used up all of its fuel, it serves no additional purpose, so it is jettisoned.

The Space Launch System is a launch vehicle getting a lot of attention and a lot of funding today,  The SLS is the Launch Vehicle which will be used for the NASA Artemis missions which will first return to the moon, and then explore beyond.  The mission of the first Artemis flight, Artemis I, will be to test the SLS launch vehicle using an uncrewed Orion Spacecraft.  This launch will be occurring in March 2022.

If you would like to learn more about rockets and launch vehicles, consider taking the upcoming ATI course Rockets and Launch Vehicles.  You can read more about this course, and register for it here.

And, as always, you learn about other upcoming ATI courses at the ATI homepage www.aticourses.com

Playing Nice in the EMI Sandbox

If you wear a pacemaker, you are probably already aware of the precautions you must take when you are in the vicinity of certain other devises.  For those that may be unaware, there are many devices should never come into contact with the skin above the pacemaker, cordless telephones or electric razors for example.  There […]

If you wear a pacemaker, you are probably already aware of the precautions you must take when you are in the vicinity of certain other devises.  For those that may be unaware, there are many devices should never come into contact with the skin above the pacemaker, cordless telephones or electric razors for example.  There are other devices which should never be within six inches of the pacemaker, Bluetooth emitters for example.  And there are other devices that should never be used in the same room as a pacemaker patient, stun guns for example.  Have you ever wondered why these restrictions exist?

When an electronic device operates, changing electrical currents and voltages cause electromagnetic interference ( EMI ).  This EMI is transmitted into the space around the device, and can cause other proximate devices to malfunction, or to stop functioning all together.  When an engineer designs a device, he must be acutely aware of how much EMI the device will transmit into the surrounding space, and he must also be aware of how much EMI can be present in his own space for his device to operate properly.  The ability to both of these things, is called Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC).  In order to go to market and sell a device in the US, the FCC must test your device to confirm its emitted EMI is below the regulated threshold, and it also tests to make sure your device continues to operate in the presence of EMI at that threshold.  Said in another way, they ensure your device is Electromagnetically Compliant.  In other countries, the thresholds may be different, and the Testing Agency will be different, but compliance testing will be encountered in every country.

Since formal Compliance Testing by the FCC is a lengthy and expensive proposition, most engineers will try to monitor and test their Electromagnetic Compliance themselves before they contact the FCC for formal testing.  This informal testing by the engineer is critical to ensure that the device design ultimately stays on time and on budget.

In general, if a device is not Electromagnetically Compliant, the FCC will not allow it to go to market.  In some cases, however, the device is not compliant and can not be designed differently.  If the device is considered medically essential, it will be allowed to go to market, with very clear operating restrictions.  This is the case with Pacemakers.

If you want to learn more about the Formal FCC Compliance Testing, or if you want to learn more about how to informally test your device prior to formal testing, or if you want to learn how to design your circuits so that you will pass informal and formal testing, consider taking the upcoming ATI course EMC PCB Design and Integration.  You can learn more about the course, and register for it here.

And, as always, you can look at our other classes, and our upcoming schedule of offerings at www.aticourses.com

Designing Satellite Systems with a Link Budget

Just imagine the communication that occurs between a satellite orbiting the earth and the receiving station on earth.  Clearly, in order for that communication to be successful, the signal needs to be received at the earth station with enough SNR (signal to noise ratio) for the signal to be intelligently received and acted upon at […]

Just imagine the communication that occurs between a satellite orbiting the earth and the receiving station on earth. 

Clearly, in order for that communication to be successful, the signal needs to be received at the earth station with enough SNR (signal to noise ratio) for the signal to be intelligently received and acted upon at the earth station.  

In order for the Satellite designers and the Earth Station designers to do their jobs, they must work together to ensure that transmitting satellite transmits with enough power for the receiving station/dish to understand the signal.  This would be simple if we could assume that the receiving dish receives all of the power that the satellite transmits, but that would not be a good assumption.  There are various things encountered by the signal during its trip between the satellite and the receiving station which each reduce the power of the signal by a small amount.    The transmitter must know how much its transmission will be reduced by all of those things, and account for those losses by boosting transmitting power by that amount so that a reduced received power will still be sufficient for the receiving station to get sufficient SNR in the signal.

A Satellite Link Budget is an accounting of all of the gains and looses that signal will experience in space between a transmitter and a receiver.

So, what are the things that may increase or decrease the power of a signal during its journey between a transmitter and a receiver?

Rain is one example of something that reduces the power contained in the signal.  A designer must assume that it will always be raining during the transmission, or they will end up with a system which is only effective on non-rainy days.  This would not be a good design.

The easiest way to account for gains and losses is with a proven computer tool like SatMaster from Arrowe.  Rain models from the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) provide a viable methodology for assessing rain attenuation in microwave and millimeter wave bands.

And, what are some of the other things that will reduce transmitted power?  These are all great questions, beyond the scope of this blog.

If you design transmitters, or if you design receivers, or if you simply want to learn more about Satellite Link Budgets, consider taking the upcoming ATI course Satellite Link Budget Training on the Personal Computer – GEO and non-GEO, L through Q/V bands. You can learn more about this course and register to attend the course here.

Composites In Aerospace

Todd Johnson did a good job of explaining the use of composites in his article “Composites in Aerospace.” (ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/composites-in-aerospace-820418.)  Rather than reinvent the wheel, lets just review some of what he reported in his article. When it comes to designing aircraft, maximizing the “lift to weight ratio” is very important.  So, […]

Todd Johnson did a good job of explaining the use of composites in his article “Composites in Aerospace.” (ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/composites-in-aerospace-820418.)  Rather than reinvent the wheel, lets just review some of what he reported in his article.

When it comes to designing aircraft, maximizing the “lift to weight ratio” is very important.  So, engineers continuously strive to increase lift, or decrease weight, or both.  This article discusses how one might decrease the weight of an aircraft.

The earliest aircraft contained a metal structure and many metal parts.  This should not be surprising because metal was the strongest material known to engineers at that time.  Composites, however, are a material which can often be used instead of metal.  One of the many advantages of composites is that they are much lighter than metal. Since the late 1980s, the use of composites in aerospace has doubled every five years, so it is definitely a thriving technology.   As if weight reduction would not be reason enough, there are even more advantages to using composites in aerospace engineering.

In addition to dramatically reducing the weight of the aircraft, use of composite materials in aerospace engineering has the following additional advantages:

  • Easier to assemble complex components
  • Higher strength at a reduced weight
  • Mechanical properties can be tailored to specific requirements
  • More thermally stable so expansion and contraction not an issue
  • High Impact resistance and damage tolerance
  • Elimination of electrical corrosion problems

Whether it’s commercial airline industries trying to reduce operating costs, or the military trying to increase payload, range, and survivability of their weapons, composites are the key to accomplishing the goal.

If you want to learn more about the subject, consider enrolling in the ATI course Composite Materials for Aerospace. This three-day course is designed for mechanical or materials engineers and managers that are going to use composite materials, i.e., graphite/epoxy, etc., in aerospace and military applications. To learn more about this course, and to register to attend, you can go here.

As always, a full listing of ATI courses and a schedule of upcoming courses can be found at https://aticourses.com

Spread The News

In radio communications, spread spectrum techniques are methods by which a signal generated with a particular bandwidth is spread in the frequency domain, resulting in a signal with a wider bandwidth.  So, why would a radio communications engineer want to do this?  There are actually many advantages to employing spread spectrum in your design.  I […]

In radio communications, spread spectrum techniques are methods by which a signal generated with a particular bandwidth is spread in the frequency domain, resulting in a signal with a wider bandwidth.  So, why would a radio communications engineer want to do this?  There are actually many advantages to employing spread spectrum in your design.  I will not even attempt to explain spread spectrum techniques in this blog, but if you want to learn more about these techniques, ATI can help.  So, what are the advantages, you ask?

Crosstalk interference is greatly attenuated due to the processing gain of the spread spectrum system.

Voice quality is improved due to less static noise.

Lower susceptibility to multipath fading.

Increased security since a PN sequence is used to either modulate the signal in the time domain, or select the carrier frequency.

More users can Coexist in the same frequency band

Longer operating distances since higher transmit power is allowed.

Signal is harder to detect by those who are not supposed to be detecting it.

Signal is harder to jam.

If these advantages sound like something you would like to achieve, consider learning more about Spread Spectrum techniques in radio communications by taking the ATI short course titled Wireless Communications and Spread Spectrum Design.  You can learn more about this course, and register for it here on the ATI Web Page. 

And as always, a complete list of ATI courses, and a schedule of upcoming offerings can be found here on the ATI home page.

ATI Will Be Giving You The Business in 2022

Historically, Applied Technology Institute has delivered technical courses to scientists and engineers 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 in 2022, we […]

Historically, Applied Technology Institute has delivered technical courses to scientists and engineers 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 in 2022, we are also going to be offering some new courses that will be unlike what we have offered before. 

As reported in the Harvard Business School’s Business Insights Blog, “To stay competitive in the job market, aspiring engineers and those who want to advance need a strong, diverse set of skills.”  The article continues saying “To meet job demand, it’s important they round out their experience and add important business basics to their skill set.”  And, “As engineers advance to senior positions, they acquire responsibilities like managing teams, projects, and budgets. To reach those positions and perform their duties effectively, they need to have a strong set of business skills.”  This article states precisely why ATI has decided to start offering courses to help scientists and engineers supplement the technical skills in their toolbox with other critical skills for success in today’s world.

The HBS Blog identifies seven areas that should be addressed in an engineer’s business training; Communication, Management, Creativity, Finance, Observation, Negotiation, and Ethics.  ATI will begin by offering two courses related to this discussion in 2022. 

The first course introduces many of the topics mentioned by the HBS Blog.  The course will be “Business Management for Engineers” taught by Dr. Alan Tribble, author of the book by the same title.  As stated by Dr. Tribble, “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 full description, as well as the schedule for upcoming offerings of this course can be found here on the ATI web page.

The second course will be more focused on one of the skills highlighted in the HBS blog.  The course will be “Technical Presentation Skills for STEM Professionals”, taught by Lt Col, USAF (Ret) Frank DiBartolomeo, Jr, author of the book “Speak Well and Prosper”.  As stated by Frank, This two-day course for scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians (STEM) covers all the basics of sound technical presentation preparation and delivery.”  A full description, as well as the schedule for upcoming offerings of this course can be found here on the ATI web page.  This course will also be the subject of a free short session overview which is scheduled to occur in the lead up to the class.

Again, ATI will continue to offer the technical courses you have come to expect from us, but we are excited about these new courses that will give scientists and engineers the ability to broaden their horizons even more.  Please check back soon for additional business-related courses, and as always, please let us know if there are business topics you would like us to focus on next.

These Probes are Out of This World

As I stare into the night sky, I sometimes find myself thinking about how vast the universe is.  Sometimes, while thinking about where space ends, or the fact that space never ends, I start to feel very uneasy.  Regardless, I will blog about it, but I am not happy about it. There are currently only […]

As I stare into the night sky, I sometimes find myself thinking about how vast the universe is.  Sometimes, while thinking about where space ends, or the fact that space never ends, I start to feel very uneasy.  Regardless, I will blog about it, but I am not happy about it.

There are currently only 5 Planetary Probes which have left the solar system, and are continuing on their path to the infinite unknown.  Each of these probes were launched into interstellar space by a multistage rocket, and the final stage of each rocket is also on a similar path to the unknown, but these rocket parts are merely space junk now, and we will not discuss those here.

Pioneer 10 was the first Planetary Probe launched in 1972.  We have not had contact with Pioneer 10 since 2003, but before loosing contact, we saw it pass Jupiter, and it is now presumably heading toward a star in the constellation of Taurus.

Pioneer 11 was launched the following year in 1973.  We have not had contact with Pioneer 11 since 1995, but before loosing contact, we saw it pass Jupiter, and Saturn.  Pioneer 11 will arrive at its target in the constellation of Sagittarius in 4 million years.

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were both launched in 1977.  They both remain active and send data to earth.  They left the solar system in 2012 and 2018, respectively. 

The last Planetary Probe to leave the Solar System was New Horizons, launched in 2006.  New Horizons remained active as it passed Pluto and returned imagery in 2015.  New Horizons still remains active and is continues sending scientific data to earth.

It is truly remarkable that mankind has sent probes so far into space, and even more amazing that some of these probes are still returning data to earth. 

These feats would not have been possible without exceptional rockets, and exceptional rocket scientists.

To learn more about Rocket Propulsion, or to sharpen your skills as a Rocket Scientist, consider taking one of ATI’s upcoming courses on the topic.

Both Rocket Propulsion 101 and Rockets and Launch Vehicles – Selection and Design will be offered in February, 2022.

As always, a full listing of ATI courses can be found here.

Real Life Sometimes Imitates Fiction

Although 2021 has not been such a bad year so far, after a year like 2020, we sometimes ask ourselves … “what else could possibly go wrong?”  Thanks to movies like Armageddon, Don’t Look Up, Deep Impact, Ice Age, and others, we can again sleep restlessly knowing that Earth could be annihilated at any moment […]

Although 2021 has not been such a bad year so far, after a year like 2020, we sometimes ask ourselves … “what else could possibly go wrong?”  Thanks to movies like Armageddon, Don’t Look Up, Deep Impact, Ice Age, and others, we can again sleep restlessly knowing that Earth could be annihilated at any moment by an asteroid impact.  Although an asteroid impact is often thought of as science fiction, it is something that can actually happen.  In fact, many believe that the extinction of dinosaurs was the result of an ancient asteroid impact.  Although it is not something that we ever expect to see in our lifetime, the possibility of an impact in the distant future cannot be ruled out.  Consequently, scientists are already thinking about what we would do if we were ever faced with that scenario for real.     

So, what’s the first step?

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test ( DART ) Mission is being developed and lead for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  A full description of the Mission can be found here.  The DART mission is NASA’s demonstration of kinetic impactor technology impacting an asteroid to adjust its speed and path.  Mission literature goes to extreme lengths to assure the public that this particular asteroid is NOT on a path to earth, and that this impact will not cause the asteroid to take aim on earth.  It is simply a demonstration of our ability to take action in the event that earth is ever threatened.     

DART arrives at the asteroid in October of 2022.  I am sure we will hear more about the Mission at that time, and we will devote another blog to DART at that time also.

A mission like this involves so many of the skills that are taught in ATI’s courses related to Space and Systems Engineering.  Please take a look at our courses here, and see what courses may be helpful to you and your team, so that you can be a contributor in future space missions that have such a huge impact, no pun intended.

Tis The Season

Although most ATI blogs are written for the benefit of students or prospective students, this one is written for the benefit of instructors or prospective instructors.  It should be of interest to students as well as instructors though, as students want to know about their instructors, and even more importantly, today’s student may become tomorrow’s […]

Although most ATI blogs are written for the benefit of students or prospective students, this one is written for the benefit of instructors or prospective instructors.  It should be of interest to students as well as instructors though, as students want to know about their instructors, and even more importantly, today’s student may become tomorrow’s instructor.

As anyone who reads the news knows, many companies are having trouble finding qualified and motivated people to work for them.  Although ATI is blessed with a large cadre of great instructors, we are always looking for new blood, and it can be difficult at times to find new instructors, particularly during holiday seasons when people have more important things to worry about.

So, I was meditating last night, thinking about the attributes that I normally associate with a good instructor, or that I normally look for in a person that we may want to hire as an instructor.  If we can come up with list of those attributes, then we simply need to find a person that has all of those attributes, and hire that person.  Sounds simple.  So, let’s talk about attributes.

First, the person needs to be a Subject Matter Expert on Rocket Science.  Based on one of our current needs, SMEs in Aerodynamic Propulsion and GPS would be very desirable.

Second, the person needs to be highly organized and a very hard worker, for obvious reasons.  The instructor should realize that the demand for classes is not always the same, so there may be very busy times of the year, and there may be slow times.

Third, the person has to like students, and he must enjoy working with students.

Fourth, the person should be mature, with lots of experience, and a demonstrated ability to do his job year after year.

Fifth, the person has to be willing to do some marketing, and help ATI talk to prospective students during the run-up to the course, and maybe even talk to students during our free sessions.

Sixth, the person might live locally in the Baltimore/Washington area, but that is not a hard requirement.  The person can live in very remote location and he can travel as required to meet with students.

With this list in mind, I went to our Data base of a three zillion prospective instructors, and I found a single person that has every one of our desired attributes.  So, let me describe this person named Nick.  For confidentiality reasons, I will not share his last name.  I will talk a little about how he demonstrates each of the attributes.

Nick is an expert in Aerial Ship Design and Operations, in fact, he drives his Ship around annually, and relies on GPS to make a huge number of stops.  Nick is very organized and a hard worker, as demonstrated by the huge number of stops associated with the annual trip that he makes in his Air Ship.  Nick loves working with kids and students and enjoys making them happy.  Nick usually spends the month leading up to his annual trip meeting with kids that he plans to visit on the night of his trip.  At these pre-trip meetings, he and the kids often discuss goals and expectations, so Nick can be better prepared for the start of his trip.  Lastly, although Nick lives in a very remote place, he is very willing to travel great distances, and he has demonstrated that year after year, for so many years.

I tried to contact Nick and see if we can get him to teach for us, but his voice mail indicated that he was too busy to talk to me, but that I should call him back after Christmas when his schedule will be much lighter.  I did not want to wait that long to talk to him, so I decided to visit him, but was unable to find any good deals on flights to his home at the North Pole.

Please take a look at our schedule of upcoming classes here.  Although you will not see Nick’s classes listed yet, please check back often after the holidays to see if we were successful hiring him.

On a serious note, ATI really is always looking for new instructors.  If you think you would like to teach for us, please let us know, so we can talk more about it.

ATI wishes everyone a very happy upcoming holiday season.  We are always here to help you, even during this very busy holiday season.  

Field Testing Can Be A Blast

As discussed in a recent ATI Blog, Model Based Systems Engineering is a great way to accomplish goals cheaper, faster, and better.  MBSE alleviates the need to verify your design and construction with frequent and expensive field testing.  Unfortunately, however, there is still a need to occasionally conduct field testing.  Field testing may be required […]

As discussed in a recent ATI Blog, Model Based Systems Engineering is a great way to accomplish goals cheaper, faster, and better.  MBSE alleviates the need to verify your design and construction with frequent and expensive field testing.  Unfortunately, however, there is still a need to occasionally conduct field testing.  Field testing may be required to verify the validity of models which feed your MBSE. Additionally, it is sometimes critically important to conduct field tests, even though Models suggest that the system will work as designed.  One example of this would be when human lives are at stake, and the designer is unwilling to put full trust in the MBSE.

The design of the US’s newest Aircraft Carrier, The Gerald Ford Class Carrier, is an excellent example of how Field Testing may be used in conjunction with MBSE.

The US Navy explains that “The Navy designed the Ford-class carrier using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ships are hardened to withstand harsh battle conditions.” Although MBSE assured engineers that the ship would be safe in battle conditions, field testing was ordered in order to verify the MBSE.  Such verification is not performed for every design.  In fact, the last time field testing was used by the Navy to verify MBSE was in 2016 for Littoral Combat Ships.

Pyrotechnic Shock Testing on August 8, 2021 in water off the coast of Florida validated the ship’s ability to sustain operations in a simulated combat environment.  Forty Thousand pound (40,000 lb) underwater explosions were released at distances progressively closer to the Carrier, which was heavily instrumented to record the amount of shock that was experienced onboard.

The Navy explains that “These shock trials have tested the resiliency of Ford and her crew and provided extensive data used in the process of validating the shock hardness of the ship.”

Engineers should always use MBSE, but must also be familiar with Pyrotechnic Shock Testing which is sometimes required in addition to MBSE.

To read the US Navy’s reporting of this Pyrotechnic Shock Testing, and to see pictures and videos of the testing, you can go here.

To read about and register for ATI’s upcoming Pyrotechnic Shock Testing course, you can go here.

And, as always, to see a full listing of all ATI courses, you can go here

Tireless Wireless

Although the concept of Wireless Communications is pretty simple, the method by which it happens is anything but simple.   It’s like the old joke, we all love to eat sausage, but we really would rather not think about how it is made.  We all take wireless communications for granted when we use our cell phone, […]

Although the concept of Wireless Communications is pretty simple, the method by which it happens is anything but simple.   It’s like the old joke, we all love to eat sausage, but we really would rather not think about how it is made.  We all take wireless communications for granted when we use our cell phone, but there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes.

Wireless networks have a lot of advantages over wired networks.   To name a few, wireless networks are cheaper and easier to install and maintain.  They can be accessed at almost any time from almost any place.  And, wireless networks can transmit more data, and transmit it more quickly than a wired network.  The biggest disadvantage of a wireless network is that it can be more susceptible to security threats and data exploitation.

For years, wireless networks have been considered the norm in communication systems, but in the last two years, the importance of wireless networks has increased dramatically due to the pandemic.  As astutely observed by Ahmadi, Katzis, Shakir, Arvaneh, and Gatherer in their April 2020 paper titled  Wireless Communication and the Pandemic: The Story So Far ,  the role of telecommunications in keeping people connected and working has been phenomenal.

The authors point out that the three most significant contributions of wireless networks have been connectivity for healthcare, connectivity for education, and connectivity for retail and supply chain.  The ability to maintain healthcare, education, and retail has been critical to keeping the world up and running with some sense of normalcy during the pandemic.  

For healthcare, 5G mobile technology can reliably connect hospitals, ambulances, and homes to make healthcare service more efficient.  For education, wireless communications allow students of all ages to remain connected with their teachers, whether they are in the local school, or in a college or university half way around the globe.  For Retail, wireless communications allowed people to purchase necessities, and have them delivered to their homes, without undue exposure to the pathogens.  For companies, wireless communications allowed businesses to order and receive things that allowed them to stay open for business, and keep their workforce working.

There will always be a need for wireless communication networks, but that need will be particularly great during the remainder of this pandemic, and whenever the next pandemic comes about.  It is critical that our wireless communications infrastructure be in place now and in the future to meet the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth.

To learn more about wireless communications, consider taking the upcoming ATI Wireless Communications course.  You can read more about this course, and register for it here

And, as always, a complete list of the ATI courses which may interest you can be found here.

MBSE Is The Answer

Sponsors and customers want their products delivered more quickly, more cheaply, and better than ever.  Those demands are often unreasonable, but we must remain responsive to our customers, and try our best to deliver better, faster and cheaper.  I know you and your staff are already working harder than ever, and this is a lot […]

Sponsors and customers want their products delivered more quickly, more cheaply, and better than ever.  Those demands are often unreasonable, but we must remain responsive to our customers, and try our best to deliver better, faster and cheaper.  I know you and your staff are already working harder than ever, and this is a lot to ask.  Perhaps the answer lies not in how hard you work, but in how smart you work.  As astutely reported by Accenture, “The solution lies in an end-to-end model-based systems engineering strategy.”  Yes, that is the answer.

Accenture tells us that model-based systems engineering (MBSE) applies digital modeling techniques throughout the product development life cycle to evaluate system requirements, design, analysis and verification and validation.  Said differently, it involves more digital modeling on computers, which is relatively cheap, and less field testing which can be quite expensive.  Although some field testing may still be prudent, the vast majority of field testing could be done more cheaply, and perhaps even more effectively, using MBSE.

Accenture also tells us the implementing MBSE can help aerospace and defense companies to increase customer and supplier collaboration, improve engineering efficiency, allow for more rapid product development iterations and drive down in-service support costs. 

Clearly, MBSE is good thing, that all industries should strive to adopt.  So, if you are not using MBSE yet, what are you waiting for.  If you need training, ATI is here to help.

To read Accenture’s full report, you can go here.

To read about and register for ATI’s upcoming MBSE course, you can go here.

And, as always, to see a full listing of all ATI courses, you can go here.

Game Changer

For decades, the state of the art in missile technology has been Ballistic Missiles.   A Ballistic missile follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver its warhead, or warheads, onto a predetermined target.  The missile is put into orbit by a rocket, and the remainder of its flight is unpowered.  The missile simply falls like a rock […]

For decades, the state of the art in missile technology has been Ballistic Missiles.   A Ballistic missile follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver its warhead, or warheads, onto a predetermined target.  The missile is put into orbit by a rocket, and the remainder of its flight is unpowered.  The missile simply falls like a rock on a highly predictable approach.  Due to the nature of its flight, Ballistic Missiles can easily be countered by Anti-Ballistic Missiles.  The ABM can intercept and destroy the Ballistic Missile at any point during its flight.  Many countries have mastered the technology of Ballistic Missiles, and Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense.  It is what drove the Cold War.

In recent years, however, we have been introduced to a new missile technology.  Hypersonic Missiles have changed the art of war as we know it.  Hypersonic missiles travel at least five times the speed of sound, and they can fly much lower to the ground than conventional Ballistic Missiles.  These hypersonic missiles are more of a threat because they are highly maneuverable.  Due to their speed and their maneuverability, they are difficult, if not impossible, to detect by traditional anti-ballistic missile defense systems.  And, due to their immense kinetic energy, they are even more destructive to the target that they are directed toward.  Hypersonic missiles are a game changer. 

Russia, China, North Korea, and the US have all tested hypersonic missiles.  When they become operational and get incorporated into military arsenals, it will be truly significant for both aggressors and target countries. 

This is truly the way of the future in Rocket and Missile technology.  Scientists and engineers need to be familiar with this new type of missile.

If you would like to learn more about Rocket and Missile Fundamentals including the Hypersonic Missile technology, consider enrolling in ATI’s upcoming course Rocket and Missile Fundamentals.  The instructor has recently added a unit discussing Hypersonic Missiles.

As always, a complete listing of ATI’s courses can be found here.

What The Heck Is TMA?

Sonar and Target Motion Analysis Fundamentals is a course being offered by ATI starting on October 19.  Typically, the purpose of this blog is to share the real-world relevance of the material being taught in the class, and typically, there is a lot of real-world relevance to talk about.  Unfortunately, in this case, there is […]

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

Typically, the purpose of this blog is to share the real-world relevance of the material being taught in the class, and typically, there is a lot of real-world relevance to talk about.  Unfortunately, in this case, there is not much real-world relevance to discuss. 

So, 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.

For the rest of the world, since I can’t offer any real-world relevance, I will at least explain what Target Motion Analysis is, and why it is so critical to sonarmen.

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 our upcoming classes can be found here.

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