Category Archives: ENGINEERING

Attend Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Fundamentals (1-day) and the follow-on MBSE Applications courses (2-days)

My name is Zane Scott and I teach the Model-Based Systems Engineering courses for Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses).  I want to invite you the ATI’s Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Fundamentals (1-day) and the follow-on MBSE Applications courses (2-days). The Model-Based Systems Engineering Fundamentals course includes discussion of real-life benefits from this approach versus the traditional document-centric systems design methodology. The two-day follow-on class provides in-depth practical advice and case studies based on specific satellite and defense systems case studies.

Model-based Systems Engineering Fundamentals Aug 11, 2015 Columbia, MD
Model-based Systems Engineering (2 day) Aug 12-13, 2015 Columbia, MD


The benefits of MBSE from a program manager/sponsor perspective are emphasized in day 1, which is available as a stand-along course for Program Managers and other non-technical sponsors. The two-day follow-on class provides in-depth knowledge for the working systems engineer. These courses are practical and useful in managing complex systems design projects utilizing MBSE which promises to impact projects positively by improving communication among the team, promoting reuse (and associated cost/risk reduction), and maintaining traceability from the requirements through validation and verification.

But are these promises fulfilled and results documented? Case studies are used to illustrate the practical benefits of MBSE.  MBSE was recently used on a student project at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The student team was so impressed by the effectiveness of this approach that they recorded a 2014 case study webinar. This success story is especially beneficial for Systems Engineering Managers seeking to clearly understand the Return on Investment from MBSE.

Systems Engineering practitioners will appreciate the in-depth practical system design process outlined in day 2 and 3 of this course with reference to the CubeSat program case study. The Embry-Riddle EagleSat program took off in 2012 as part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. The student-run, professor-guided organization has a goal of flying Embry-Riddle’s first satellite, a fully functioning 10-centimeter cube focused on analyzing the susceptibility of computer memory to solar radiation, while also mapping the body’s orbital decay over time.


The systems engineering effort, undertaken through the use of MBSE, has played a critical role in requirements management and maintaining design traceability throughout the development process and across all six subsystems. The choice to use MBSE comes from the approach’s inherent ability to document complex element relationships while easily and fully communicating these to other team members through generated reports and descriptive diagrams.

Please consider attending either the 1-day Fundamentals class if you need an overview, or the full 3-day class to learn how to effectively apply MBSE to real-world, complex systems engineering projects.

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STEM- The Latest Trend For Kids- Vote For Your Favorite Starter Kit

The latest trend in toys isn’t an app or a TV character, it’s STEM: aka, science, technology, engineering, and math. More companies are creating toys that improve these particular skill sets without boring children. Now is your chance to vote for the best STEM starter kit! Each week you can choose your favorite STEM Starters to move to the next round. Winners of each round (declared by the majority reader-vote) advance to the next round for future voting.

Vote here to support young scientists and engineers!

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New INCOSE CSEP Handbook v4.0 to be Released! Pass the CSEP test Now!

New INCOSE Handbook – New CSEP Opportunities

The newest INCOSE SE Handbook (version 4.0) is expected this month (June 2015). Now is a great time to plan for the CSEP/ASEP exam best suited to you, because the transition gives you a choice!.

Insider Hint – Since the CSEP application process can be long and time intensive, sign up first to become an ASPE. Once you pass the exam, you then can take your time to complete the more demanding CSEP application process.

The Handbook was delayed to coincide with the recent release of ISO-15288. Now INCOSE will offer a transition period for you. From now through December 2015, the current exam will continue to be primary, based on Handbook v3.2.2. The new exam will become primary in January 2016 – but the new exam can also be available by special request as early as July.

ATI matches the transition with our Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) Preparation course. You can still take our 2-day course based on Handbook v3.2.2 on July 7-8, 2015 in Chantilly, VA. Or you can expand your knowledge with our new 3-day version based on Handbook 4.0 on September 24-26 (and forward). The new course will cover the significant expansion in the new Handbook (another 50 pages!) and will also include more exercises and activities to help you “seal in” the knowledge for the exam.

You can choose! Take the shorter course and get your ASEP/CSEP now, before the change – or take the longer course to get the full set of new knowledge and more learning activities. Either way, you advance your career by gaining the INCOSE certification!


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Why is March 14, 2015 special to geeks, engineers and scientists? ATI knows. Do you know?

Why is March 14, 2015 special to geeks, engineers and scientists? ATI knows. Do you know? It is PI Day! This holiday celebrates one of the most important numbers in mathematics at 3.14.15 at 9:26:53.

The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi” (/paɪ/).

Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed exactly as a common fraction, although fractions such as 22/7 and other rational numbers are commonly used to approximate π. Consequently its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern. The digits appear to be randomly distributed; however, to date, no proof of this has been discovered. Also, π is a transcendental number – a number that is not the root of any non-zero polynomial having rational coefficients. This transcendence of π implies that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of squaring the circle with a compass and straightedge.

Because its definition relates to the circle, π is found in many formulae in trigonometry and geometry, especially those concerning circles, ellipses or spheres. It is also found in formulae used in other branches of science such as cosmology, number theory, statistics, fractals, thermodynamics, mechanics and electromagnetism. The ubiquity of π makes it one of the most widely known mathematical constants both inside and outside the scientific community: Several books devoted to it have been published, the number is celebrated on Pi Day and record-setting calculations of the digits of π often result in news headlines. Attempts to memorize the value of π with increasing precision have led to records of over 67,000 digits.

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The Invisible Machine: Electromagnetic Warfare

A right front view of a USAF Boeing E-4 advanced airborne command post (AABNCP) on the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) simulator (HAGII-C) for testing.

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers the courses below on EMI/EMC technology.

Design for Electomagentic Compatibility & Signal Integrity Feb 10-11, 2015 San Diego, CA
Design for Electomagentic Compatibility & Signal Integrity Feb 17-18, 2015 Orlando, FL
EMI/EMC in Military Systems Sep 23-25, 2014 Columbia, MD
EMI/EMC in Military Systems Nov 18-20, 2014 Newport, RI

We thought the news below could be of interest to our readers.

Imagine the future – a strange new weapon is detonated high over a large city. There is no explosion, no visible destruction, but everything electronic within the range of this weapon will go out…permanently.

Every electronic gadget in every home and office – disabled. No computers, no T.V., no life support systems in hospitals, no water supply, no heat, no lights – truly, a return to the dark ages. Imagine a full range of new weapons; one can take out the electricity in your city, another can destroy you.

If you haven’t heard about these weapons, it’s no surprise. Their development has been secretive and they sound more like science fiction than reality. When did this reality really begin and how far advanced is it now? The fact is  Electromagnetic Warfare Is Here.

Read more here.

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hitchBot: Not The Hitchhiker Your Mother Warned You About!

“My name is hitchBot.”

Your mother might have warned you about picking up hitchhikers, but clearly she never met hitchBOT. The brainchild of Ryerson’s Frauke Zeller and McMaster’s David Smith, hitchBOT was raised by a family of researchers, and described itself as “a free-spirited robot who wanted to explore Canada and meet new friends along the way.” HitchBot has a bucket body, pool noodles for arms and legs, wears rubber boots and has rubber gloves for hands, complete with the ever important hitching thumb.

HitchBOT was created by a team of Ontario-based communications researchers studying the relationship between people and technology.

It’s not every day you see a robot at the side of the road, and hitchBOT quickly became a media darling. Pretty soon, hitchBOT was fielding interview requests and rubbing shoulders with celebrities.

Somebody would be curious, stop and pick her up. She would say, ‘Hi, I’m hitchBot, I’m going to Victoria. Would you like to give me a ride?’ Usually they would say, ‘Sure.’ She would hop in, plug into the cigarette lighter and they drive along. The driver would drop her on the highway because they had to turn off and they would just leave her on the highway. Just like some human hitchhikers, hitchBot was good road company.

She would ask what you think about the creation of the universe or if you believe in God. She was able to talk about that she was going to Victoria. She explained who her creators are by name. So she’s very intelligent.

Over the course of its cross-country adventure hitchBOT chilled with the Kelowna-based band The Wild!, met the groundhog known as Wiarton Willie, and crashed a wedding, where it adorably interrupted the bride and groom’s toasts to proclaim, “I like to make friends.” That level of cute should really be illegal, but hitchBOT pulled it off in style.

After travelling more than 6,000 kilometres from coast to coast, hitchBOT arrived in Victoria, B.C. on Saturday. Throughout the three-week journey, a popular Twitter account, @hitchBOT, kept followers informed of the robot’s progress and adventures. The account currently has more than 34,000 followers.

Robotics are definitely becoming increasingly larger part of our lives. Scientists from Japan and France, working together, announced last month that they had developed an algorithm that can recognize emotions from a human gait.

What is your opinion on this? Please comment below…

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How will Japanese robot provide emotional support to the astronauts?

The world’s first robot astronaut is pining for a conversation partner as he waits for Japanese spaceman Koichi Wakata aboard the International Space Station.

“Mr. Wakata, are you not here yet? I really want to see you soon,” the pint-sized android said in a message released by its project team in Japan Wednesday.

The wide-eyed and bootie-wearing “Kirobo” — roughly the size of a chihuahua — left Earth on a cargo-carrying rocket and reached the space station on August 10.

Wakata along with Mikhail Tyurin of Russia and NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio will be aboard the Soyuz-FG rocket which set off from Kazakhstan at 0414 GMT on Thursday for a six-hour journey to the ISS.

Kirobo, which stands just 13.4 inches tall and weighs about 2.2 pounds, is programmed to communicate in Japanese and keep records of its conversations with Wakata, the first Japanese astronaut to command the ISS.

The robot is part of a study aimed at seeing how a non-human companion can provide emotional support for people isolated over long periods.

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New addition to the already successful Wireless Communications and Spread Spectrum course!! Cognitive Systems to Improve Data Link Quality of Service

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers High-Level Wireless Digital Communications for Program and Engineering Managers course.

This added material discusses the needs to develop a cognitive system in order to mitigate the effects that the environment has on communications and/or data links. Cognition is the ability for system/systems to monitor, record, sample, test, and to be cognitive or aware of the surrounding environments; and then adapts, modifies, or changes the system to improve the Quality of Service.

The basic concept is developing a system, radio, antenna, in a network, and using the available resources to monitor the environment and make an optimal change to the system to improve the Quality of Service QoS of the wireless link.

There are many changing factors of the environment that requires a system to be cognitive and adapt to these changes to mitigate their effects on the communications/data link system.  These include jammers both friendly and unfriendly and channel degradation.  The channel or path of the data link can be degraded by various factors such as; jammers, atmospheric changes, blockage from obstacles like hills, buildings or other, and multipath.  All of these factors can reduce the desired signal level or increase the noise which can degrade the signal level or QoS. In addition, broadband noise can degrade the data link by the adjacent equipment that raises the noise floor which causes the data link to have insufficient signal-to-noise ratio, S/N.

There are several cognitive techniques that can be used to mitigate the effects of jammers and channel degradation to improve the QoS of the data link.  Some of the basic techniques include; Dynamic Spectrum Allocation DSA, Power Gain Control, Waveform including Types of Modulation, Spread Spectrum and Error Correction, Adaptive Filters, Cosite RF Tunable Filters, Dynamic Antenna Techniques using AESAs including Multiple In Multiple Out MIMO, and Network Configurations including Multi-hop adhoc meshed networks, forming, self-healing and others.  This presentation addresses these cognitive techniques and provides multiple solutions and system tradeoffs to provide the optimal solution using the available capabilities.

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Training budgets: Smaller is not an option


The debate on the budgets for the government organizations is pretty toxic in the US. Both US Navy and US Army alongside other organizations have declared budget shortfalls which effect many areas including training. Without commitment to training and learning new skills there can be no continuous improvement, which is one of the prime directives of any government or company.

The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in short course technical training in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, systems engineering and signal processing. Since 1984 ATI has provided leading-edge public courses and on-site technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. The courses provide a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications.


When your company does not want to pay for the training you really want, as an alternative, you can:

  • Spent your own personal money and funds; if you believe in it and then you will do it
  • Find a user group who are practicing the skills you desire
  • Don’t accept the classic answer from the boss, “How does X help the business?”. If the training is relevant to you achieving a goal of being a much better employee then of course it is relevant.
  • Find another organization to work for

A training manager with a good team can:

  • Fight for your team and their training; fight for your team’s budget and don’t let the senior management take it away
  • Give up your personal training for the entire year and suggest that they allocate the extra budget to training for your team members
  • Perhaps, it is time to evaluate the relationship with the preferred supplier of training. Has your firm been getting decent value from the PSL (preferred supplier list)?
  • Find alternatives to training like brown bag lunches and/or collaborate with other businesses

Everybody needs training and self-improvement.

Please share your opinion with us by commenting below.

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ATI’s Fiber Optic Communication Systems Engineering Course

Can You Perform Cost Analysis or

Design Fiber Optic Systems?

This three-day course investigates the basic aspects of digital and analog fiber-optic communication systems. Topics include sources and receivers, optical fibers and their propagation characteristics, and optical fiber systems. The principles of operation and properties of optoelectronic components, as well as signal guiding characteristics of glass fibers are discussed. System design issues include both analog and digital point-to-point optical links and fiber-optic networks.

From this course you will obtain the knowledge needed to perform basic fiber-optic communication systems engineering calculations, identify system tradeoffs, and apply this knowledge to modern fiber optic systems. This will enable you to evaluate real systems, communicate effectively with colleagues, and understand the most recent literature in the field of fiber-optic communications.

Since 1984, the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) has provided leading-edge public courses and onsite technical training. Whether you are a busy engineer, a technical expert or a project manager, you can enhance your understanding of complex systems in a short time. You will become aware of the basic vocabulary essential to interact meaningfully with your colleagues. If you or your team is in need of more technical training, then boost your career with the knowledge needed to provide better, faster, and cheaper solutions for these sophisticated systems.

Why not take a short course?????????????????

ATI short courses are less than a week long and are designed to help you keep your professional knowledge up-to-date. Our courses provide a practical overview of space and defense technologies which provide a strong foundation for an understanding the issues that must be confronted in the use, regulation and development of complex systems.

What You Will Learn:

• What are the basic elements in analog and digital fiber optic communication systems including fiber-optic components and basic coding schemes?

• How fiber properties such as loss, dispersion and non-linearity impact system performance.

• How systems are compensated for loss, dispersion and non-linearity.

• How a fiber-optic amplifier works and it’s impact on system performance.

• How to maximize fiber bandwidth through wavelength division multiplexing.

• How is the fiber-optic link budget calculated?

• What are typical characteristics of real fiber-optic systems including CATV, gigabit Ethernet, POF data links, RF-antenna remoting systems, long-haul telecommunication links.