Highlights from a Recent INCOSE Gathering

On Monday, September 19th, I attended an INCOSE gathering. It was organized by the Chesapeake Chapter of Women in Systems Engineering (WISE), with a presentation by Courtney Wright, who is an SEP-Acq. Ms. Wright gave an overview of the INCOSE Certification Program, focused primarily on the growth of the program and the benefits of certification. […]
On Monday, September 19th, I attended an INCOSE gathering. It was organized by the Chesapeake Chapter of Women in Systems Engineering (WISE), with a presentation by Courtney Wright, who is an SEP-Acq. Ms. Wright gave an overview of the INCOSE Certification Program, focused primarily on the growth of the program and the benefits of certification. Since I am responsible for marketing and business development efforts in Canada and overseas, there were several interesting data points, which I caught my attention and that I would like to share:
  • Applicants have 1 year from the time of their application is received to complete their certification.
  • A CSEP is valid for 3 years, while an ASEP is valid for 5 years. An ESEP, which is the highest level of certification is valid indefinitely.
  • The top 6 organizations with active SEPs are:
    1. Airbus
    2. Lockheed Martin
    3. Booz Allen Hamilton
    4. Northrop Grumman
    5. Thales
    6. Honeywell
  • Out of approximately 10,000 INCOSE members, approximately 2,600 (or 26%) are SEPs.
  • A steady growth of active SEPs was reported from 2004 to present day.
ATI provides in-classroom, instructor-led CSEP course for those individuals who prefer this format: http://www.aticourses.com/CSEP_preparation.htm One reason why the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) also provides an online instructor-led ASEP and CSEP course that allows those systems engineers, who wish to take and pass the exam, a flexible alternative and the option the study at their own pace.   http://aticourses.com/ASEP_CSEP_Preparation.html  

Jim vs. First Mars tomato: Scientists announce edible space harvest!

Our president, Jim Jenkins is an avid gardener and known to his family and friends as “Farmer Jim”.  He was the first of our “gardening club” to get a big red tomato this year!  The news below should be of interest to our readers especially of a gardening conviction.   Several groups including NASA, Elon […]
Our president, Jim Jenkins is an avid gardener and known to his family and friends as “Farmer Jim”.  He was the first of our “gardening club” to get a big red tomato this year!  The news below should be of interest to our readers especially of a gardening conviction.   Several groups including NASA, Elon Musk and Mars-One hope to take people to Mars in the next ten to fifteen years. Returning to the Moon may happen in the next five years. If we get there it will be to stay for extended periods. People will also have to eat there and what is more logical than to grow your own food locally? In 2013 and 2015  the scientists conducted two experiments to investigate whether it was possible to cultivate peas, radishes and tomatoes on Mars and moon soil simulant supplied by NASA. The 2015 experiment provided the first radishes, peas, tomatoes and rye, but it is also safe to eat them?   The Mars and lunar soils contain several heavy metals that are toxic to humans such as lead, cadmium and arsenic. Plants are not too bothered by these and just carry on growing. We don’t know if the harvested fruits contain heavy metals and we don’t know if it is safe to eat them – which is what we aim to address in this project. If the project is successful, and shows that it is indeed safe to eat the plants and fruits, it brings the journey and the establishment of a long term human presence on Mars and a more or less permanent base on the moon one step closer.   Researchers at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands are growing edible space vegetables in soil similar to the surface of Mars and the moon.   The new experiment will be carried out according to a procedure developed in 2015, with some improvements. It will use experimental trays, with one crop per tray, containing respectively peas, tomatoes and radishes and two other crops. The experiment will be replicated five times and the soils (Mars and lunar simulants and terrestrial control) will be enriched with organic material in order to improve the structure and nutrient supply. For Mars the nutrient will consist of the parts of the plants that would not be eaten and human faeces. Fruits and edible parts will be harvested and analysed for heavy metals at the Wageningen UR institute Rikilt.    

LinkedIn Sale to Microsoft – I found this article of interest.

I found this article of interest. I use LinkedIn to make professional contacts. I enjoy it as a way of keeping in contact. I have many instructors, technical experts and media contacts as connections and more than 4805 connections. Contact me directly at: jim.jenkins@aticourses.com. Please connect with me on LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/jimjenkinsati/ Why is Microsoft buying […]
I found this article of interest. I use LinkedIn to make professional contacts. I enjoy it as a way of keeping in contact. I have many instructors, technical experts and media contacts as connections and more than 4805 connections. Contact me directly at: jim.jenkins@aticourses.com. Please connect with me on LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/jimjenkinsati/ Why is Microsoft buying LinkedIn? By Tom Warren on June 13, 2016 11:05 am Microsoft just surprised the world with its LinkedIn acquisition. Valued at $26.2 billion, it’s a huge price to pay for a social network, and it tops the charts as Microsoft’s biggest-ever acquisition. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first major acquisition, the success or failure of LinkedIn will define him as the leader of Microsoft’s increasingly service-driven future. Nadella’s internal memo does a good job of providing a basic outline to partially answer that question, and more. Nadella points out that LinkedIn is “how people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done.” It’s a key tool in the professional work space, with 433 million members and more than 2 million paid subscribers. Microsoft itself has more than 1.2 billion Office users, but it has no social graph and has to rely on Facebook, LinkedIn, and others to provide that key connection. http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/13/11920938/microsoft-linkedin-acquisition-why-report

You decide – The Best Technical Training for You!

    You can make a difference. Applied Technology Institute is scheduling new courses for September 2016 through July 2017. Please let us know which courses you would like to see on our schedule or brought to your facility. ·         If you have a group of 3 or more people, ATI can schedule an open enrollment course in […]
    You can make a difference. Applied Technology Institute is scheduling new courses for September 2016 through July 2017. Please let us know which courses you would like to see on our schedule or brought to your facility. ·         If you have a group of 3 or more people, ATI can schedule an open enrollment course in your geographic area. ·         If you have a group of 8 or more, ATI can schedule a course on-site at your facility. On-site training brings our experts to you — on your schedule, at your location. It also allows us to plan your training in advance and tailor classes directly to your needs. You can help identify courses to suit your training needs and bring the best short courses to you! ATI courses can help you stay up-to-date with today’s rapidly changing technology. Boost your career. Courses are led by world-class design experts. Learn from the proven best. ATI courses by technical area: Satellites & Space-Related courses Acoustic & Sonar Engineering courses Engineering & Data Analysis courses Radar, Missiles and Combat Systems courses Project Management and Systems Engineering courses ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Contact us: ATI@ATIcourses.com or (410) 956-8805
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Memorial Day 2016 Tribute – John McCain recounts fellow POWs’ astounding bravery in Vietnam

Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses or ATI) is proud to support the US Defense Forces, with strong personal and corporate ties to the US Navy. This 1 1/2 minute video Memorial Day 2016 Tribute is worth viewing to remind us all of the sacrifices made to defend our freedom and way of life. http://www.militarytimes.com/story/veterans/2016/05/27/mccain-memorial-day-video/85034226/
Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses or ATI) is proud to support the US Defense Forces, with strong personal and corporate ties to the US Navy. This 1 1/2 minute video Memorial Day 2016 Tribute is worth viewing to remind us all of the sacrifices made to defend our freedom and way of life. http://www.militarytimes.com/story/veterans/2016/05/27/mccain-memorial-day-video/85034226/

Astronauts & Their Pets: How To Care For Your Pet From Space

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Satellites & Space-Related courses. We thought this could be of interest to our interested readers. Space: the final frontier, the dark expanse, the great unknown. It’s a place only a few brave humans have traveled, and one that mystifies most others. For the astronauts who […]
Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Satellites & Space-Related courses. We thought this could be of interest to our interested readers. Space: the final frontier, the dark expanse, the great unknown. It’s a place only a few brave humans have traveled, and one that mystifies most others. For the astronauts who spend time among the stars, outer space is a realm that offers them amazing and unique experiences. Full of unknowns, space also offers its fair share of distinct problems. Science Channel’s new showSecret Space Escapes features some of the bizarre and terrifying issues that can occur when you leave Earth. But not all of the struggles of space are this extreme; some are as simple as home sickness or missing your furry best friends. Three astronauts featured on Secret Space Escapes about how they dealt with being committed spacemen and pet owners.
Image above: Mission Specialist Clayton Anderson made his first shuttle flight on STS-117. Anderson served as a flight engineer on Expeditions 15 and 16.
Clayton Anderson He was a mission specialist on the STS-117 mission aboard Atlantis.  He stayed on the ISS for five months before returning to earth with the crew of STS-120. Clayton has two dogs: Cosmo (a mini dachshund) and Lizzy (a dachshund/Yorkie combo). His main means of communication with his furry friends were video chats.
Astronaut and medical doctor Scott Parazynski was a crewmember on STS-86, the seventh shuttle mission to dock with Mir.
Scott Parazynski Scott was also on mission STS120. He is a proud owner or Mare ( a planetary scientist dog). Mare’s name generates from the maria on the moon, the black parts on the moon that you can see with the naked eye. Scott mainly communicated with Mare via phone calls. Daniel Toni Daniel has a total of 132 days in space about ISS. He has an 18 year old cat named Koshka (Russian for cat) and a dog named Tayto (after the Irish brand of chips). He doesn’t have a memory of seeing them in a video conference, but he is sure they were around. Like many things, the meowing and barking just go in the background. That is why it is important to bring along ultrasonic bark controlling devices when you decide to bring your dog with you on space. All of them would have loved to have their pets in space, but are afraid that potty functions and dog breath could be an issue…
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In Memory of Robert Farquhar

I also knew Robert Farquhar from the times that I worked at APL. He also worked with several of existing ATI instructors. He was know for his brilliance and persistence. Read full article.
I also knew Robert Farquhar from the times that I worked at APL. He also worked with several of existing ATI instructors. He was know for his brilliance and persistence. Read full article.

NASA Reveals 3 Stage Plan for First Official Mission to Mars

From rovers to orbiting probes that are currently exploring Mars, NASA is already preparing to launch missions to Mars when the space agency announced a detailed three step plan for future manned space missions to the Red Planet. NASA plans to manage these challenges of human spaceflight and colonization of Mars into three stages that […]
An artist's depiction of the Earth Reliant, Proving Ground and Earth Independent thresholds, showing key capabilities that will be developed along the way.From rovers to orbiting probes that are currently exploring Mars, NASA is already preparing to launch missions to Mars when the space agency announced a detailed three step plan for future manned space missions to the Red Planet. NASA plans to manage these challenges of human spaceflight and colonization of Mars into three stages that will involve delivering different mission capabilities. The first stage called Earth Reliant involves conducting extensive research aboard the International Space Station where scientists will carry out a myriad scientific tests on different technology involving microgravity that can benefit human performance and health when it comes to human spaceflight. Data will then be collected and applied to deep space missions. The second stage known as Proving Ground involves NASA scientists to carry out another set of complex, technical stages in a deep space environment for astronauts to learn how to live and work in an alien world such as Mars. NASA will focus on cislunar space which is the space surrounding the moon for potential staging orbits for future deep space missions with the help of the Asteroid Redirect Mission. The final Earth Independent third stage will involve consolidating all important data from the ISS and then executing manned missions to Mars and its moons, in Martian lower orbit or its lunar orbit and eventually on the surface of the Red Planet. The space agency plans to send its first manned mission to Mars in the early 2030s with its Space Launch System and its Orion crewed spacecraft.
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A Victory for Whales

Do we want to kill and maim some of the most majestic creatures on earth to defend our seas and shores? No, we don’t – and now we have a federal court settlement to prove it. After years of litigation, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and their partners reached a legal settlement requiring the U.S. Navy to […]
Do we want to kill and maim some of the most majestic creatures on earth to defend our seas and shores? No, we don’t – and now we have a federal court settlement to prove it. After years of litigation, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and their partners reached a legal settlement requiring the U.S. Navy to take common-sense measures to protect endangered blue whales and other marine mammals from needless harm and hazard during training exercises and testing operations off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California. For decades, far too many of these animals have suffered from the Navy’s use of powerful sonar and high explosives undersea. As marine mammals depend on their finely tuned sense of hearing to survive, sonar and explosives can cause injuries or impair their ability to communicate, navigate, and find food. They can go silent, become panicked, or be driven from their habitats. In some cases, high-intensity sonar has caused whales to beach themselves in large groups or left them with serious injuries. As a result of the settlement, spelled out in a September 14, 2015, order from the
Blainville's beaked whale
, the U.S. Navy must cease using sonar and high explosives in waters critical to the most vulnerable of these creatures. Captains and commanders must plan their expeditions and steer their vessels to give a wide berth to whales in these areas.   Naval security and readiness remain sound. The commander of the Pacific Fleet may override these measures if necessary for national defense, provided such decisions are made public afterward. This settlement shows the way to both protect our fleet and our whales, ensuring the security of naval operations while reducing the mortal hazard to some of the most magnificent animals on the planet. Our navy will be the better for this – and so will the oceans our sailors defend. That’s good news for the hundreds of endangered blue whales that return each year to feed off the coast of Southern California. The world’s largest creatures, blue whales can grow up to 110 feet long and weigh upwards of 330,000 pounds – as much as 100 Chevy sedans. They were hunted to near extinction, though, and are now endangered, with as few as 10,000 estimated alive in the wild. It’s good news for beaked whales, champion divers that can plunge to depths of 9,000 feet or more in search of fish and squid. And it’s good news for the many small populations of whales and dolphins that cluster around the Hawaiian Islands. Next, we need to protect important whale habitat on other U.S. Navy ranges: from the coasts of Virginia to central Florida, off the coasts of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, in the Gulf of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, and off the Marianas Islands.


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Pluto or bust: Take the quiz

The latest images from the New Horizons spacecraft have revealed another range of ice mountains on Pluto. The frozen peaks were found on the lower-left edge of the dwarf world’s “heart” and are 1-1.5km-high. They sit between a patch of icy, flat terrain, called Sputnik Planum, which scientists believe is less than 100 million years […]
The latest images from the New Horizons spacecraft have revealed another range of ice mountains on Pluto. The frozen peaks were found on the lower-left edge of the dwarf world’s “heart” and are 1-1.5km-high. They sit between a patch of icy, flat terrain, called Sputnik Planum, which scientists believe is less than 100 million years old, and a dark area dating to billions of years ago. Jeff Moore, who leads the geology, geophysics and imaging team on New Horizons, said: “There is a pronounced difference in texture between the younger, frozen plains to the east and the dark, heavily-cratered terrain to the west. “There’s a complex interaction going on between the bright and the dark materials that we’re still trying to understand.” The newly spotted mountains are about 110km away from another range, which is now known as Norgay Montes, which appeared in some of the first images returned from last week’s fly-by. Those peaks are much more lofty: standing at about 3.3km-high, they rival the Rocky Mountains in size. The New Horizons spacecraft has also zoomed in on two of Pluto’s five moons.
I’m finding it hard to be patient for more Nix data to be downlinkedCarly Howett, New Horizons team
An image taken by the probe’s high resolution camera, Lorri, reveals the most-detailed-view yet of Hydra, which is about 55km-long and 40km-wide. The little satellite seems to have at least two large craters, and its top half looks darker than its bottom, suggesting the make-up of its surface may be varied. Another picture snapped by the Ralph instrument reveals Nix with its colours boosted, which is a technique that helps scientists to identify details on the surface they would otherwise be unable to see. Through this, the team has identified a reddish spot, which may be a crater. “Additional compositional data has already been taken of Nix, but is not yet downlinked. It will tell us why this region is redder than its surroundings,” said mission scientist Carly Howett. “This observation is so tantalizing, I’m finding it hard to be patient for more Nix data to be downlinked.”   Keep hearing about Pluto? How much do you know about NASA’s mission that some have said is a historic first 50 years in the making? Take this quiz and find out!


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The sad ordeal is over by Daryl Gerke

On Wednesday,April 29, 2015,  my good friend and business partner of 40 years passed away from pancreatic cancer. The end came sooner than expected, but at least he is no longer suffering. I will miss him terribly … hell, I already do! A future blog post will address partnerships. Most of the time I advise against […]
William “Bill” Kimmel, PE Kimmel Gerke Associates, Ltd. Consulting Engineers 1940-2015
On Wednesday,April 29, 2015,  my good friend and business partner of 40 years passed away from pancreatic cancer.
The end came sooner than expected, but at least he is no longer suffering. I will miss him terribly … hell, I already do! A future blog post will address partnerships. Most of the time I advise against them, as I have seen too many go sour. But when they work, they are absolutely wonderful. Such was our partnership, and a major reason our consulting firm was so successful.   And so much fun! Although many of you didn’t know him, here is the eulogy I plan to deliver at his funeral this week. I think it captures the essence of this gentle man. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Daryl Gerke, Bill’s friend and business partner for almost 40 years. When Bill’s daughter asked me to say a few words, I told her it would be a privilege. But when she told me I only had about five minutes, I knew it would be a huge challenge. You see, I could go on for hours with wonderful stories about Bill… and given the opportunity, probably would. Those of you who do know me know that’s true. As an aside, Bill and I spent many pleasant hours telling, and then retelling stories… often to the chagrin of our wives. I will miss that. So what can I say in just a few minutes? As I reflected on this, I was finally able to distill it down to three key points I’d like to share today. (1) Bill was highly respected The highest accolade an engineer can give to another engineer is to say, “So and so is a good engineer.” Sometimes for emphasis, one is called a “darn good engineer.” We engineers are such an emotional bunch. As the emails and phone calls poured in after the news of Bill’s passing, those phrases were repeated many times. Often with examples of how Bill had jumped in to difficult situations… helped out… and even saved their bacon. Past students lauded his abilities to take complex concepts and make them easy to understand. Of course, I agree with those sentiments… Working together for 40 years, I know of no better practitioner of the engineering profession. (2) Bill was extremely gracious In a business where giant egos sometimes reign, Bill was modest to a fault. When I shared a comment with him several weeks ago that someone had called  him a “rock star”, he chuckled and replied, “Gee,  I just thought I was doing my job.” … Classic Bill. Bill also willingly shared what he knew. Not only with clients, but with colleagues and even complete strangers. An e-mail from a professor in the UK told how, in the middle of his battle with cancer, he took the time to discuss the impact of some new standards. It was much appreciated… He was literally known around the world. A phone call from a vendor told how he took the time at a trade show last fall to talk with the woman’s son about a career in engineering, and how much it meant to both of them… She had only met Bill earlier that day. (3) Bill was a friend to ALL I’m biased, of course… What started out as a couple of young engineers collaborating on some moonlighting projects blossomed into a friendship that lasted almost 40 years… Personally, I can think of nobody else who would have been a better friend and a better business partner. He also leaves behind a multitude of friends in our engineering community… The many emails and phone calls in the past week have constantly expressed this sentiment… About what a good friend he had been, and how much he will be missed. In closing, I’d like to share one particularly eloquent e-mail I received from one of those friends just after Bill’s passing.
I’m not much of a reader, but one time my Rabbi lent me a book to read. It was by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, the author of “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People”. I never finished it, but I remember one passage: As most clergy do, the Rabbi liked to learn about other faiths. He was at some kind of convention or conference, and he heard the Buddhists talking about how you shouldn’t get attached to anyone, because you would only lose them eventually… Rabbi Kushner disagreed… He said that isn’t living… Rather, we should allow ourselves to love people even though it will be painful when we lose them… That is living. So I’m doing a little living right now, over Bill.  (Thanks – Jeff Silberberg)
  Right now, I think we are ALL doing a little living over Bill… REST IN PEACE, my friend! Click here to see Bill’s on-line obituary. P.S. Changes are coming, so check in from time to time. Initial plans are to ramp upJumpToConsulting, and to ramp down Kimmel Gerke Associates. And to spend more time just goofing off – grandkids, reading, writing, traveling, and playing with the dog. The goal here – helping “newbies” become consultants, and helping “oldies” become better consultants. Like the underlying goal Bill and I always had with our consulting practice – helping engineers become even better engineers!   Daryl Gerke  

The New Horizons Mission to Pluto–Ten Experts Who Worked Behind-the-Scenes On the New Horizons Mission and Who Teach for ATIcourses.

Applied Technology Institute (ATI) is proud to have several course authors, instructors and subject-matter experts that led portions of the New Horizons Mission and/or were directly involved in the project, which began in 2003. This is the countdown time to the New Horizons Missions closest point of approach to Pluto; The spacecraft is on track […]
American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto, the ninth planet in our solar system, on February 18, 1930. Many key questions about Pluto, it's moon Charon, and the outer fringes of our solar system await close-up observations. A proposed NASA mission called New Horizons, depicted in the artist's concept above, would use miniature cameras, radio science experiments, ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers and space plasma experiments to study Pluto and Charon, map their surface compositions and temperatures, and examine Pluto's atmosphere in detail. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Applied Technology Institute (ATI) is proud to have several course authors, instructors and subject-matter experts that led portions of the New Horizons Mission and/or were directly involved in the project, which began in 2003. This is the countdown time to the New Horizons Missions closest point of approach to Pluto; The spacecraft is on track toward an “aim point” approximately 7,750 miles above Pluto’s surface on July 14, but meaningful data is already streaming in to JHU/APL and NASA. http://seeplutonow.com/   On Sunday, June 20, 2015, the “Washington Post” published a front-page and extensive article on the New Horizons Mission to Pluto:   http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/pluto-poised-for-a-star-turn-as-nasa-probe-races-toward-historic-encounter/2015/06/20/46ffd54e-0d1f-11e5-a0dc-2b6f404ff5cf_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1   This is the original 2003 press release describing the New Horizons Mission. Boulder, Colo. – April 9, 2003 – This week NASA authorized the New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt (PKB) mission to go forward with preliminary spacecraft and ground system construction. New Horizons is led by the Southwest Research Institute(r) (SwRI(r)) and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).   Neither Pluto nor Kuiper Belt Objects have ever been explored by spacecraft. In July 2002, the National Research Council’s Decadal Survey for Planetary Science ranked the reconnaissance of Pluto-Charon and the Kuiper Belt as its highest priority for a new start mission in planetary science, citing the fundamental scientific importance of understanding this region of the solar system. Read more at http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=040903pr   ATI instructors who helped plan, develop and engineer the New Horizons Mission. These include the following engineers and scientists, with their bios and links to their related ATI courses   1. Dr. Alan Stern http://aticourses.com/planetary_science.htm   Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, and author. In 2010, he was elected to be the President and CEO of The Golden Spike Company, a commercial space corporation planning human lunar expeditions. Additionally, since 2009, he has been an Associate Vice President at the Southwest Research Institute, and since 2008 has had his own aerospace consulting practice.   Dr. Stern is the Principal Investigator (PI) of NASA’s $720M New Horizon’s Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission, the largest PI-led space mission ever launched by NASA. New Horizons launched in 2006 and is arriving July 14, 2015. Dr. Stern is also the PI of two instruments aboard New Horizons, the Alice UV spectrometer and the Ralph Visible Imager/IR Spectrometer.   2. Eric Hoffman http://www.aticourses.com/effective_design_reviews.htm http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_quality.htm http://www.aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm   Eric Hoffman has designed space-borne communications and navigation equipment and performed systems engineering on many APL satellites and communications systems. He has authored over 60 papers and holds 8 patents in these fields. Mr. Hoffman was involved in the proposal (as well as several prior Pluto mission concepts).  He chaired the major system level design reviews (and now teaches the course Effective Design Reviews).  He was Space Department Chief Engineer during the concept, design, fabrication, and test of New Horizons. His still actively consulting in the field. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and coauthor of the leading textbook Fundamentals of Space Systems   3. Chris DeBoy http://www.aticourses.com/Satellite_Communications_Design_Engineering.htm   Chris DeBoy leads the RF Engineering Group in the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and is a member of APL’s Principal Professional Staff. He has over 20 years of experience in satellite communications, from systems engineering (he is the lead RF communications engineer for the New Horizons Mission to Pluto) to flight hardware design for both Low-Earth orbit and deep-space missions. He holds a BSEE from Virginia Tech, a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins, and teaches the satellite communications course for the Johns Hopkins University.   4. Dr. Mark E. Pittelkau http://www.aticourses.com/attitude_determination.htm   Dr. Pittelkau was previously with the Applied Physics Laboratory, Orbital Sciences Corporation, CTA Space Systems (now Orbital), and Swales Aerospace. His experience in satellite systems covers all phases of design and operation, including conceptual design, implementation, and testing of attitude control systems, attitude and orbit determination, and attitude sensor alignment and calibration, control-structure interaction analysis, stability and jitter analysis, and post-launch support. His current interests are precision attitude determination, attitude sensor calibration, orbit determination, and optimization of attitude maneuvers. Dr. Pittelkau earned the B.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and the M.S. degree in EE from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.   5. Douglas Mehoke http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_thermal_control.htm   Douglas Mehoke is the Assistant Group Supervisor and Technology Manager for the Mechanical System Group in the Space Department at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He has worked in the field of spacecraft and instrument thermal design for 30 years, and has a wide background in the fields of heat transfer and fluid mechanics. He has been the lead thermal engineer on a variety spacecraft and scientific instruments, including MSX, CONTOUR, and New Horizons. He is presently the Technical Lead for the development of the Solar Probe Plus Thermal Protection System.  He was the original thermal engineer for New Horizons, the mechanical system engineer, and is currently the spacecraft damage lead for the flyby Hazard Team   6. Steven Gemeny http://www.aticourses.com/ground_systems_design.htm Steve Gemeny is a Principal Program Engineer and a former Senior Member of the Professional Staff at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he served as Ground Station Lead for the TIMED mission to explore Earth’s atmosphere and Lead Ground System Engineer on the New Horizons mission to explore Pluto by 2020. Mr. Gemeny is an experienced professional in the field of Ground Station and Ground System design in both the commercial world and on NASA Science missions with a wealth of practical knowledge spanning nearly three decades. Mr. Gemeny delivers his experiences and knowledge to his ATIcourses’ students with an informative and entertaining presentation style. Mr Gemeny is Director Business Development at Syntonics LLC, working in RF over fiber product enhancement, new application development for RF over fiber technology, oversight of advanced DOD SBIR/STTR research and development activities related to wireless sensors and software defined antennas.   7. John Penn http://www.aticourses.com/fundamentals_of_RF_engineering.html John Penn is currently the Team Lead for RFIC Design at Army Research Labs. Previously, he was a full time engineer at the Applied Physics Laboratory for 26 years where he contributed to the New Horizons Mission. He joined the Army Research Laboratory in 2008. Since 1989, he has been a part-time professor at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches RF & Microwaves I & II, MMIC Design, and RFIC Design. He received a B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1980, an M.S. (EE) from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in 1982, and a second M.S. (CS) from JHU in 1988.   8. Timothy Cole http://www.aticourses.com/space_based_lasers.htm http://www.aticourses.com/Tactical_Intelligence_Surveillance_Reconnaissance_System_Engineering.htm http://www.aticourses.com/Wireless_Sensor_Networking.htm Timothy Cole is a leading authority with 30 years of experience exclusively working in electro-optical systems as a systems and design engineer. While at Applied Physics Laboratory for 21 years, Tim was awarded the NASA Achievement Award in connection with the design, development and operation of the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Laser Radar and was also the initial technical lead for the New Horizons LOng-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI instrument).  He has presented technical papers addressing space-based laser altimetry all over the US and Europe. His industry experience has been focused on the systems engineering and analysis associated development of optical detectors, wireless ad hoc remote sensing, exoatmospheric sensor design and now leads ICESat-2 ATLAS altimeter calibration effort.     9. Robert Moore http://www.aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm Robert C. Moore worked in the Electronic Systems Group at the JHU/APL Space Department since 1965 and is now a consultant. He designed embedded microprocessor systems for space applications. He led the design and testing efforts for the New Horizons spacecraft autonomy subsystem. Mr. Moore holds four U.S. patents. He teaches for ATIcourses and the command-telemetry-data processing segment of “Space Systems” at the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering.   10. Jay Jenkins http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_solar_arrays.htm   Jay Jenkins is a Systems Engineer in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA and an Associate Fellow in the AIAA. His 24-year aerospace career provided many years of experience in design, analysis and test of aerospace power systems, solar arrays, and batteries. His career has afforded him opportunities for hands-on fabrication and testing, concurrent with his design responsibilities. He was recognized as a winner of the ASME International George Westinghouse Silver Medal for his development of the first solar arrays beyond Mars’ orbit and the first solar arrays to orbit the planet Mercury. He was recognized with two Best Paper Awards in the area of Aerospace Power Systems.   For more information on the New Horizons Mission, we encourage you to visit:   http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Participate/community/Plutopalooza-Toolkit.php   About Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses or ATI and ATII)   ATIcourses is a national leader in professional development seminars in the technical areas of space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, engineering, and signal processing. Since 1984, ATIcourses has presented leading-edge technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. ATI’s programs create a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications. ATI offers customized on-site training at your facility anywhere in the United States, as well as internationally, and over 200 annual public courses in dozens of locations. ATI is proud to have world-class experts instructing courses. For more information, call 410-956-8805 or 1-888-501-2100 (toll free), or visit them on the web at www.ATIcourses.com and www.aticourse.com/atii   CONTACT: Jim Jenkins Phone: 1-888-501-2100 (toll free) or 410-956-8805 Fax: 410-956-5785 Email: jim.jenkins@aticourses.com


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RoboSpiders To Build Satellites In Space

  Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering as well as a new Robotics for Military and Civil Applications course that would be offered on April 27-30, 2015 in Columbia, MD and June 8-11, 2015 in Columbia, MD. Robotics is the way of the future and some new […]
  Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering as well as a new Robotics for Military and Civil Applications course that would be offered on April 27-30, 2015 in Columbia, MD and June 8-11, 2015 in Columbia, MD. Robotics is the way of the future and some new technology pioneers see it as an essential part of human space exploration.  Currently, the delivery, construction and repair of satellites as well as other space technologies is very costly since the construction of the whole object has to be done on Earth.  There is also an issue of multiple dead satellites currently in orbit.  But, what if there was a way to repair them in space? One company wants to use the ingenuity of spiders to change the way we build for space.  The idea, which the company, Tethers Unlimited, dubs “SpiderFab,” is to build a multi-limbed robot that could be deployed in space to construct parts of structures, in much the same way earthly spiders construct their webs.  The robot would be able to lay out and fuse together carbon fiber rods from a spinneret, crawling along its web of trusses until it creates the final object. Instead of sending complete structures into space, rockets of the future could fill their payloads with raw materials, which could then be built out by the SpiderFab up in orbit. This would mean more materials could be taken up by one ship. Right now, Tethers Unlimited’s CEO Bob Hoyt (who co-founded the company in the early 1990s to build robotics and communications parts for space and undersea missions) told Space.com he sees space agencies using the SpiderFab to build things like solar panels arrays, radio antennas, and telescope parts, but envisions robots being used in space “to construct the infrastructure in space needed to support humanity’s expansion throughout the solar system.” Tether Unlimited, which has received funding from NASA for this and a range of other projects, is working on having a prototype of its robo-spinneret ready by the summer, with the intention of launching a functioning spider into space in a few years. If the development goes smoothly, one day an army of spiders could be used to create the space stations of tomorrow.  
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Two Galileo Satellites Are Parked In the Wrong Spots

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on spacecraft design. spacecraft quality control or spacecraft thermal design. We think the news below could be of interest to our readers. An international inquiry is under way into an embarrassing error which has left two multi-million European satellites that were launched from French Guiana in […]
The satellites were launched on Friday from French Guiana
The satellites were launched on Friday from French Guiana
Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on spacecraft design. spacecraft quality control or spacecraft thermal design. We think the news below could be of interest to our readers. An international inquiry is under way into an embarrassing error which has left two multi-million European satellites that were launched from French Guiana in the wrong orbit. On 22 August, a Soyuz rocket launched the fifth and sixth satellites of Europe’s Galileo project, a satellite navigation system that will eventually comprise 30 satellites designed to make Europe independent of U.S., Russian, and other GPS systems. Unlike most Soyuz launches, the rocket did not lift off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, but from Kourou, Europe’s space center in French Guiana.  Apparently the launch went off without incident, but it soon became apparent that the two satellites were injected into the wrong orbits. The upper stage of the Soyuz rocket, the Fregat-MT, injected them into elliptical orbits instead of circular ones, making the satellites unusable for GPS navigation. The issue was the result of a frozen full pipe that delivered hydrazine to thrusters necessary to align the Fregat upper stage ready for correct orbital injection. The freeze was the result of cold helium feed lines being installed in close proximity to the hydrazine fuel lines. They were collectedly the same support structure which led to a thermal bridge. This sequence of events occurred due to a design ambiguity which failed to recognize the possibility of thermal transfer between these components. While it doesn’t help the two satellites that are now effectively lost to the Galileo network, it is at least a simple fix and will not result in delays to the next launch scheduled for December.


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CHINA is angrily opposed to Australia’s plans to buy Japan’s Soryu-class submarines

ATIcourses covers naval affairs and the interactions of submarines in Defense. ATIcourses has several courses directly related to submarines and ASW. I thought the the potential purchase of submarines article below would be useful reading to our customers. Course Title Date Location Acoustics Fundamentals, Measurements & Applications Nov 18-20, 2014 Newport, RI Acoustics Fundamentals, Measurements […]
ATIcourses covers naval affairs and the interactions of submarines in Defense. ATIcourses has several courses directly related to submarines and ASW. I thought the the potential purchase of submarines article below would be useful reading to our customers.
Course Title Date Location
Acoustics Fundamentals, Measurements & Applications Nov 18-20, 2014 Newport, RI
Acoustics Fundamentals, Measurements & Applications Feb 24-26, 2015 Keyport, WA
Submarines & Submariners – An Introduction Nov 17-19, 2014 Laurel, MD
Undersea Warfare- Advanced On Site Your Facility
    The Australian  |  September 25, 2014 Rick Wallace CHINA is angrily opposed to Australia’s plans to buy Japan’s Soryu-class submarines because it would give the navy the ability to threaten its warships in the South China Sea, the former head of Japan’s naval forces says. Retired vice-admiral Yoji Koda said it was clear China was unhappy about the potential deal because of the threat it posed to its future carrier fleet. “The ball is in Australia’s court,’’ he said. “If Australia wants to maintain a conventional deterrent force then a submarine that can launch Tomahawk cruise missiles would be a good choice. A large submarine like the Soryu-class — 3000 tonnes — that’s the only conventional submarine available for that purpose.” Mr Koda, who commanded the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force fleet until 2008, said public opinion in pacifist Japan had hardened in response to China’s activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and weapons exports of this type — banned until recently — would no longer be considered controversial. China recently launched its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Mr Koda said China was intent on expanding its carrier fleet and might want a base in the South China Sea. While the Japanese and Australian governments don’t single out China as a threat, Mr Koda said the ability to counter China was clearly a strategic imperative for both. “China is building a robust and strong navy, but their achilles heel for now is submarines. A submarine is the best threat to Chinese surface forces,’’ he said.mChina would take several decades to develop anti-submarine warfare capabilities, a skill that had taken Japan more than 20 years to perfect with the full support of the US military. “Less than 10 navies in the world are really capable of anti-submarine warfare,” he said. Mr Koda said Australia and Japan needed to find a way to guarantee Australian jobs if the Soryu-class was chosen. Australia is talking to German, Swedish, Spanish and French sub-makers, but the Soryu remains the favourite. Mr Koda said Japan would expand its own Soryu fleet and, if some of the construction could be done in Australia, Adelaide could supply parts for submarines in both naval forces. The Soryu-class is built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. “Japanese industry is very conscious of the fact that some of the work needs to be done in Adelaide,’’ he said. “Division of labour … should be one of the important things to be discussed. If the governments of Australia and Japan are serious about this then there should be some solutions to solve this. If there are no job opportunities for Australians, I don’t think this will happen.”  

Space Taxis by 2017-Compliments of Boeing & SpaceX

Applied Technology Institute (ATICorses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. We think the news below would be of interest to our readers. NASA has selected Boeing and SpaceX to resume U.S. human spaceflight. The two companies are newly contracted to become NASA’s space taxis, flying American astronauts to and from the […]
Applied Technology Institute (ATICorses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. We think the news below would be of interest to our readers. NASA has selected Boeing and SpaceX to resume U.S. human spaceflight. The two companies are newly contracted to become NASA’s space taxis, flying American astronauts to and from the International Space Station, and eventually ending the county’s reliance on Russia for transport. Since the shuttle program was retired [in 2011], NASA crew members have been hitching rides on Russian Soyuz spacecraft, at a cost of $70 million per seat.  The agency typically purchases six seats per year. NASA’s partnership with the companies is part of the Commercial Crew Program. The program is intended to help private companies develop spacecraft to carry astronauts into low Earth orbit by 2017. Once built, the seven passenger shuttle capsules will be owned by the private companies, not NASA. Both companies will design crafts and undergo safety testing before manned flights are booked. Once certified, each company will launched an estimated two to six missions. Boeing is set to build three of its CST-100 — seven passenger — crafts at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Space X will build its first passenger craft, since its existing SpaceX Dragon delivers only cargo to the space station currently. Space X Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft for cargo in 2012. The contracts with NASA are worth $6.8 billion. Boeing has the larger share with $4.2 billion, and Space X receives $2.6 billion.


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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 […]
“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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Advanced GPS course at UN Facility in Brindsisi, Italy in June 2014

The Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) is conducting an 5-Day Advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) training course to be delivered at the United Nations Global Service Center (UNGSC) in Brindisi, Italy during the week of June 16-20, 2014. This course will both GPS theory and customized hands-on use of surveying and mapping equipment. ATI is […]
The Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) is conducting an 5-Day Advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) training course to be delivered at the United Nations Global Service Center (UNGSC) in Brindisi, Italy during the week of June 16-20, 2014. This course will both GPS theory and customized hands-on use of surveying and mapping equipment. ATI is proud to say that this is the second year in a row that ATIcourses has been selected based on merit and cost-effectiveness. ATIcourses specializes in the ability to deliver a wide range of in-depth ITAR compliant technical and scientific training world-wide.
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Video Discussing the Future of Launch and Space-X

ATIcourses has been training rocket scientists for more than 30 years. We specialize in Space and Satellites courses, including launch Vehicle design and selection. The Atlantic Council held its Captains of Industry discussion which featured Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX. This is the 1 hour+ recording of the event. The talk gives great […]
ATIcourses has been training rocket scientists for more than 30 years. We specialize in Space and Satellites courses, including launch Vehicle design and selection. The Atlantic Council held its Captains of Industry discussion which featured Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX. This is the 1 hour+ recording of the event. The talk gives great insight into the space launch business and the differences between approaches. The discussion focused on the future of American space launch, an issue of critical and timely importance. Last month, Russia threatened to cut-off U.S. supply of the RD-180 engine, revealing just how problematic U.S. reliance on these Russian engines really is. SpaceX offers a wholly-American rocket with an outstanding record of reliability and mission success. http://spaceref.biz/organizations/video-gwynne-shotwell-of-spacex-discusses-the-launch-industry.html http://www.aticourses.com/schedule.htm#space

USS San Jacinto (CG-56) Returns!

The USS San Jacinto (CG-56) and the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) Battle Group, based in Naval Station Norfolk, Va, was deployed in July 2013 to the Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet area of operations. Other ships in the battle grouped included USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), USS Mason(DDG-87) and Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG-64). The battle […]
The USS San Jacinto (CG-56) and the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) Battle Group, based in Naval Station Norfolk, Va, was deployed in July 2013 to the Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet area of operations. Other ships in the battle grouped included USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), USS Mason(DDG-87) and Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG-64). The battle group is completing its 8 month deployment and heading home to Norfolk. They arrived today April 18, 2014. http://www.wvec.com/news/military/truman-homecoming I am proud to say that my son-in-law was part of the battle group on the San Jacinto. My other son in-law serves on the Leyte Gulf (CG-55). The Leyte Gulf will have an 8-9 month deployment starting in June 2014. Both families have children who miss their Navy dads during the long deployments. We civilians should periodically remember the sacrifices that the Navy families make to support our freedom and to protect our national interests. Read more.
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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The History Goes Back Further Than You Would Think!

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) is scheduled to present the following courses on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Guidance & Control May 20-22, 2014 Columbia, MD Unmanned Air Vehicle Design Apr 22-24, 2014 Dayton, OH I’ve always thought that UAV technology was the invention of the end of the 20th century looking something like […]
Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) is scheduled to present the following courses on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Guidance & Control May 20-22, 2014 Columbia, MD
Unmanned Air Vehicle Design Apr 22-24, 2014 Dayton, OH
I’ve always thought that UAV technology was the invention of the end of the 20th century looking something like the video below. How wrong I was!   I think our readers will find the information below quite interesting.

Austria was the first country to use unmanned aerial vehicles for combat purposes. In 1849, the Austrian military attached explosives to five large balloons and sent them to attack the city of Venice. Some of the balloons were blown off course, but others managed to hit targets within the city.

The concept of pilotless aerial combat units resurfaced during World War I when military scientists began building devices such as the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane. This craft was essentially an airborne bomb and was controlled using gyroscopes. After witnessing the capabilities of the Automatic Airplane, the U.S. military began working on precursors to modern cruise missiles called aerial torpedoes. The first aerial torpedo was dubbed the Kettering Bomb. Developed in 1918, the Kettering Bomb could be guided by an onboard gyroscope toward targets located up to 75 miles from its launch point.

Aerial Torpedo attached to AircraftAerial Torpedo attached to Aircraft

A British World War I veteran namedReginald Denny opened a model plane shop in Hollywood in 1934. Denny eventually began producing radio-controlled aircraft that could be used for training purposes by anti-aircraft gunners. The Army hired Denny and produced thousands of drones for use during World War II. The Navy also began producing radio-controlled aircraft around this time. In 1942, a Navy assault drone successfully hit an enemy destroyer with a torpedo.

After World War II, Reginald Denny’s company continued to build target drones for the U.S. military. The drones became increasingly advanced to keep up with manned combat aircraft. During the Cold War, some of these drones were converted for reconnaissance purposes. Based on the successful Ryan Firebee target drone model, the Ryan Model 147 Lightning Bug series of drones was used to spy on targets in China, Vietnam, and Korea in the 1960s and ’70s. The Soviet Union developed its own photo reconnaissance drones, although little is known about these devices. Drones were also used as decoys during combat operations.

Unmanned aircraft vehicles were largely seen as impractical, unreliable, and expensive until 1982 when Israel successfully used the devices against the Syrian Air Force. The Israeli Air Force used the drones for video reconnaissance, distractions, and electronic jamming of Syrian equipment. They were also used to destroy Syrian aircraft without risking the lives of Israeli pilots. The success of Israel’s UAV project convinced the United States military to start developing more unmanned aircraft. The U.S. now has a large fleet of UAVs used to deceive detection systems such as radar and sonar.

General Atomics Predator RQ-1L UAVGeneral Atomics Predator RQ-1L UAV
The General Atomics Predator RQ-1L UAV was used extensively during Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as operations in Afghanistan. The Predator was initially designed for reconnaissance purposes, but attaching Hellfire missiles and other weaponry made it an effective way to destroy enemy targets. Today, the military continues to improve UAVs with photovoltaic cells and other modern technology. Drones are also used domestically for surveillance, disaster relief, immigration control, and law enforcement.

 


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Dr. Rajan Bedi’s view on linear voltage regulators for space applications

Applied Technology Institute (ATI courses) offers a variety of courses on Space & Satellite engineering as well as Signal Processing.  Rajan Bedi is The Head of Mixed-Signal Design Group at EADS Astrium who published and presented over thirty peer-reviewed papers at various ESA, NASA, IET & IEEE conferences and journals.  His recent article  on linear voltage […]
Applied Technology Institute (ATI courses) offers a variety of courses on Space & Satellite engineering as well as Signal Processing.  Rajan Bedi is The Head of Mixed-Signal Design Group at EADS Astrium who published and presented over thirty peer-reviewed papers at various ESA, NASA, IET & IEEE conferences and journals.  His recent article  on linear voltage regulators for space applications (posted here with the author’s permission) would be of interest to our readers. A power converter generates a voltage and current for a load with all the output power coming from the input source – no energy is manufactured inside the converter and some inevitably gets used by the internal circuitry. The basic power flow in a converter can be summarised by: Pin = Pout + Plosses where Pin is the input power supplying the converter, Pout, the output power available to a load, and Plosses the power dissipated (wasted) by the components. A power converter must meet the mission load voltage and current requirements during steady-state and transient conditions while protecting the system in case of circuit failure. Today’s spacecraft sub-systems require an increasing number of supply rails, load conditions and distribution schemes, and it’s important to select the most appropriate solution to meet a mission’s power budget, thermal management, efficiency, regulation, stability, reliability and cost requirements. The linear voltage regulator is one of the most commonly used electronic circuits found in almost every spacecraft sub-system. There are two major types: the series and shunt designs, where the controlling (regulating) element is in series or in parallel with the load respectively, between the input supply and the desired output rail. Figure 1 shows a basic op-amp series regulator: the resistive divider formed by R2 and R3 senses any change in the d.c. output voltage. If the output decreases due to a drop in the unregulated input or an increase in load current, a lower feedback voltage appears at the op-amp’s inverting input via the resistive divider. As the non-inverting input is held at a constant level by a reference, a small, difference voltage is developed between the op-amp’s inputs. Negative feedback within the loop forces both inputs of the error amplifier to be equal by increasing the drive to the base of the NPN transistor, causing the emitter voltage, Vout, to increase until the sampled feedback signal at the non-inverting input becomes equal to the zener reference.     Figure 1: Basic op-amp series regulator.   The opposite action occurs when the output voltage rises because of an increase in the unregulated input voltage or a decrease in load current. The negative feedback causes the error amplifier to reduce the drive to the base of the NPN transistor, causing Vout to decrease until the sampled feedback voltage seen at the inverting input equals the zener voltage. In effect, any variation in the output voltage is absorbed by the transistor’s collector-emitter voltage resulting in a regulated supply rail. The operation of a shunt regulator is similar to the series design except that regulation is achieved by controlling the current through a transistor in parallel with the load. The shunt regulator is less efficient than the series type, but offers some inherent short-circuit protection as the load current is limited by an internal series resistor. For both designs, the regulating element is realised using a power pass-transistor operating in its active region, e.g., where IC = βIB. Conceptually, this transistor can be considered as a dissipative, variable-controlled resistor, and hence this type of linear regulator always steps down the input power and voltage. Regulation is achieved by the purposeful conversion of excess power as heat and the pass transistor must have the required thermal rating to operate at the worst-case input voltage and full load. If an excessive amount of current is drawn, the transistor can be damaged unless some form of limiting or protection is implemented. From the block diagram shown in Figure 2, the power dissipation in watts of a linear regulator can be expressed as: (Vin-Vout)* Iload + (Vin * Iq) and the efficiency in percent as: η = Pout / (Pout + Plosses) = Vout/Vin = (Iload * Vout) / (Iload + Iq) * Vin     Figure 2: Linear regulator inputs and outputs.   The quiescent current is the difference between the input and output currents and a low value is desired to maximise efficiency. The biasing of the band-gap reference, sampling resistors and the error amplifier all contribute to the ground current adversely affecting the efficiency of the overall power conversion. Low quiescent current, dropout voltage and the voltage difference between the input supply and regulated output rails must be minimised to optimise converter efficiency. The pass transistor operates in its linear mode which requires a certain minimum voltage drop (headroom) between its input and output to function. If Vin become too close to Vout and reaches the dropout voltage, the circuit ceases to regulate. Many improvements can be made to the basic series and shunt designs to improve overall efficiency. An NPN regulator is unconditionally stable (critically damped) as the pass transistor is being used in a non-inverting, common-collector mode offering high bandwidth and low output impedance. This places a pole in the feedback loop at high frequency making the NPN design relatively insensitive to capacitive loading. Several designs use a unity-gain error amplifier to avail of the highest bandwidth and fastest transient response independent of the magnitude of the output voltage. Multiple devices can be connected in parallel to share a larger output current with access to both the inverting and non-inverting inputs allowing the design engineer to validate the gain and phase margins. Other types of pass transistors are used to reduce the headroom voltage and quiescent current to improve overall efficiency. Linear regulators which use either a PMOS FET, a single PNP, or a combination of an NPN and PNP, offer lower dropout voltages as the pass devices operate at saturation. For FETs, the quiescent current is almost constant with respect to load current since this is voltage driven. However, these transistors are used in their inverting common-emitter/source mode which presents high source impedance to the load. This adds a low-frequency pole to the feedback loop whose response then becomes dependent on both load resistance and output capacitance. An external, compensating capacitor is required whose equivalent series resistance value is critical to guarantee loop stability. ESA’s ECSS-E-ST-20C Space Engineering standard specifies at least 50° of phase margin and 10 dB of gain margin for worst-case, end-of-life conditions with representative loading. A large value of output capacitance specified in a datasheet is indicative of loop instability and careful part selection is required to comply with ‘the tunnel of death’ curve shown below.       Figure 3: The ‘tunnel of death’ stability curve.   Recent space-grade LDOs have replaced low-gain lateral PNPs with higher-gain vertical equivalents to lower the dropout voltage and reduce the quiescent current. The latest qualified regulators are exploiting the lower on-resistance and gate-capacitance benefits of LDMOS and GaN FETs to further improve efficiency, reliability and performance. Radiation-induced transients on the output rails of a regulator can impact the electronics to be supplied, e.g., voltage undershoot can cause erratic operation of memories and microprocessors while excessive overshoot can completely destroy CMOS devices. As an example, a single-event transient appearing on the d.c. output exceeding the maximum supply voltage that can be tolerated by a $100k FPGA could end a mission! The addition of current-limiting resistors, transient-suppressing, low-inductance capacitors can mitigate against single-event transients. Radiation testing of linear regulators has shown that the wide range of input voltages and output load conditions can make devices sensitive to both protons and heavy ions. Results have shown that the amplitude and duration of a transient is dependent on the value of the output capacitor and its ESR, such that the feedback loop can become unstable. To compound the problem, LDOs are commonly used to post-regulate the output from a switching regulator where additional components are included to suppress the high-frequency EMI spikes and spurs. The impact of external, transient-suppressing components on overall efficiency, stability, reliability and performance needs to be assessed on a per mission basis. Power transistors are also sensitive to catastrophic single-event burnout and gate rupture effects. The photograph below shows a single-event gate rupture in a power MOSFET that ‘killed’ the transistor.     Figure 4: Catastrophic gate rupture of a power MOSFET.
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Saved By NASA: Nightmarish Sinkholes Can Be Predicted By Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar

ATIcourses offers Synthetic Aperture Radar – Fundamentals May 5-6, 2014 Denver, CO Synthetic Aperture Radar – Advanced May 7-8, 2014 Denver, CO We thought the news below could be of interest to our readers. The idea of the ground opening without warning and swallowing you up is nightmare fuel. As populations grow and humans invent […]
ATIcourses offers
Synthetic Aperture Radar – Fundamentals May 5-6, 2014 Denver, CO
Synthetic Aperture Radar – Advanced May 7-8, 2014 Denver, CO
We thought the news below could be of interest to our readers. The idea of the ground opening without warning and swallowing you up is nightmare fuel. As populations grow and humans invent new ways to plunder underground resources, sinkholes are only becoming more common—just look at the US sinkhole capital, Florida. But America’s space agency, NASA, said it may have developed a way to predict sinkholes up to a month before the ground collapses, saving lives and money. The early warning is provided by interferometric synthetic aperture radar (iSAR), which could be mounted on planes or satellites to scan sinkhole prone areas. iSAR scans the ground multiple times in multiple wavelengths to put together interferograms, which can show tiny movements of the earth, including the ripples of earthquakes, the effects of flooding on riverbanks, or where the ground is sinking.This interferogram shows the ground sinking near oil wells in California: Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been monitoring changing ground conditions along the US Gulf Coast as part of research into iSAR. When a nasty sinkhole formed at Bayou Corne, Louisiana, in 2012, researchers went back and examined radar scans in the same area a month and a year before the cave-in. They found that the ground surface layer had moved as much as 10 inches (26 cm) toward the sinkhole’s center.  The sinkhole was caused by a company owned by Occidental Petroleum mining too closely to a geological feature called a salt dome. The researchers say this data, published in last month’s issue of the scientific journal Geology, shows that once the technology is more widely used and deployed on satellite platforms, not just airplanes, it can be used to tell when the earth is about to transform into a gaping maw. The US and India are collaborating to launch an iSAR-equipped satellite sometime in the next seven years.
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A Hot Market Is Growing For Trained Cyber Security Experts.

A recent analysis by Burning Glass Technologies showed that cyber security jobs are hard to fill in the Washington D.C. area and on average earn $93,028 for a cyber job compared to $77,642 for average salary for all IT job postings, a difference of $15,386 annually. Nice work and pay if you are qualified. There […]
A recent analysis by Burning Glass Technologies showed that cyber security jobs are hard to fill in the Washington D.C. area and on average earn $93,028 for a cyber job compared to $77,642 for average salary for all IT job postings, a difference of $15,386 annually. Nice work and pay if you are qualified. There were 209,749 postings for cyber security-related jobs nationally. Cyber security jobs account for nearly 10% of all IT jobs. Cybersecurity postings have grown 74% from 2007-2013. This growth rate is over 2x faster than all IT jobs. Read the original report at here.  Also, here is the report on Cyber Security Jobs Learn more about the cyber world and technology at
Cyber Warfare – Global Trends Apr 23-25, 2014 Columbia, MD
Cyber Warfare – Global Trends Jun 10-12, 2014 Live Virtual
There are a number of cyber courses available from ATIcourses to give you the training required to pass a cyber related certification test on our schedule.


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What is the Big Deal About a Bed?

  One of ATI’s training partners TrainingEtc has a community service program that ATIcourses wants to publicize. TrainingEtc teams with ATIcourses to offer both open enrollment and on-site Project Management and Computer courses. You can read more about their volunteer program athttp://www.trainingetc.com/illumanation/   Imagine watching your children sleep each night on the floor instead of in […]
  One of ATI’s training partners TrainingEtc has a community service program that ATIcourses wants to publicize. TrainingEtc teams with ATIcourses to offer both open enrollment and on-site Project Management and Computer courses. You can read more about their volunteer program athttp://www.trainingetc.com/illumanation/   Imagine watching your children sleep each night on the floor instead of in a bed. Imagine them waking up each morning to pick their school clothes for the day out of a plastic garbage bag instead of a dresser. Imagine eating family dinner each night on the floor because you have no kitchen table. For hundreds of thousands of mothers, this is not something they have to imagine. This is their reality. It is a reality A Wider Circle is changing for families all over the DC Metro area. A Wider Circle was founded by Mark Bergel in 2001 in response to the cycle of poverty he saw all around him. He was so moved by their deplorable living conditions that he couldn’t sit back and watch anymore. The mission of the organization, A Wider Circle, is to help adults and children lift themselves out of poverty. Every day of the week, A Wider Circle provides basic need items to families transitioning out of shelters or simply living without life’s necessities. Their largest program is called Neighbor to Neighbor, where they provide the furniture from their showroom, all of it donated from individuals like you and me, to families moving out of shelters or who might be living without it now. In the state of Maryland, children can be removed from their homes if they are not sleeping on a bed, and Neighbor to Neighbor helps keep those families together. A Wider Circle furnishes about 15-20 rooms each day for needy families through this program. In additional to the Neighbor to Neighbor program, AWC works with numerous organizations to help individuals and families overcome their current challenges and enable them to be successful. One such organization is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that operates the national Food Stamp Program (SNAP). This nutrition assistance program helps low-income individuals buy items they need to maintain their health such as: -Breads and cereals; -Fruits and vegetables; -Meats, fish, and poultry; -Dairy products; and -Seeds for planting. Surprisingly, there are many items that may not be purchased under SNAP: -Soaps and Shampoos; -Cleaning Products; -Vitamins and Medicines; -Paper Towels; and -Toilet Paper. AWC recognizes there is a significant gap between the items available for purchase under SNAP and what people need to stay healthy. AWC addresses this shortage by collecting items for further donation to SNAP recipients. Interested in supporting AWC’s program? You can help by contributing these items to our donation box: • Toilet paper • Paper towels • Diapers • Cleaning products • Toothpaste • Bar of soap • Shampoo Interested in donating a bed? Visit awidercircle.org for more details. Call 301-608-3504 Email furnish@awidercircle.org www.awidercircle.org