• The Real Power of Engineering: Creating the Future vs. Predicting it

      Adapting to future circumstances instead of expecting to anticipate them  There’s nothing inherently wrong with trying to predict the future, whether that of technology or any other area. It’s ...
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  • Engineering Answers to a Failure of Intuition

      Even great minds fail sometimes, but we can revise our mental models Though this blog is created by a company that makes hardware and software, the core of our work—and yours—is problem solving and ...
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  • First Words Spoken on the Moon: Probably Not What You Think

      How about “ACA out of detent” Some people of my generation viewed the 1960s race to the Moon as an alternative to a military conflict, with the astronauts as the point of the spear. They were the sp...
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  • Impressive Mechanisms, Impressive Explanations

      Engineers that exemplify creativity, and the ability to explain it School is out and some are on holiday. It’s a good time to briefly widen this blog’s technology focus a bit with one of my occasion...
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  • EM Drive: Real Technology? Magic? Hokum?

      As technologists, we need ways to tell the difference Over the past few months I’ve been hearing more about a propulsion technology called an EM Drive or EMDrive or, more descriptively, a “resonant ...
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  • Impedance and the Power of Analogy

      Electrical engineers lead the way Years ago, a manager of mine seemed to constantly speak in analogies. It was his way of exploring the technical and business (and personal!) issues we faced, and after a while ...
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  • Reducing Noise Power and Pushing it Around

      Jet engines, furry hoods, and a nod to four years of the Better Measurements blog This blog gives me occasional freedom to explore technology and phenomena that have only a peripheral relationship to RF design ...
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  • Stealing MIMO

      An unacknowledged “borrowing” Few things in technology are completely original, “from the ground up” innovations. Of course, that’s no knock on those who creatively move technology...
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  • Rocket Staging: Is it Art or Engineering?

      It can be both. A look at the engineering behind some beautiful footage We’ll be back to our regular RF/microwave test focus shortly, but sometimes at the holidays I celebrate by taking a look at other ex...
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  • Wireless Data Rates and a Failure of Imagination

    Originally posted Jun 7, 2016   Is there an unlimited need for speed, or are we perfecting buggy whips?   Contrary to some stereotypes, engineers—especially the most effective ones—are both int...
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  • Today’s R&D Comparison: RF Engineering and Rocket Fuel

    Originally posted Dec 3, 2015   An engineering field where the products you’re designing are constantly trying to kill you The holiday season is here and it’s been a while since I have wandered off t...
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  • Measure this, not That: Signal Separation in Optical and Electrical Measurements

    Originally posted Oct 12, 2015   I wonder if these MIT researchers can quantify their directivity? I’m fascinated by correspondences between phenomena in RF engineering and other fields, and it isn’t...
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  • Cringe-Worthy Wireless: Industry and Personal History

    Originally posted Jul 1, 2015   Admirable explanations and embarrassing memories On a recent long-distance drive across western states, we encountered lightning and its usual transient interference across the AM...
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  • Dynamic Range and a Different Kind of Analyzer

    Originally posted May 22, 2015   Signals and noise in the optical realm It looks like I’m not the only one who finds myself wrestling with noise quite a bit, and recent developments in digital photography ...
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  • Teach Yourself Electronics!

    Originally posted May 20, 2014 Self-instruction from the pre-Internet era stands the test of time I already spend plenty of time on the Web, so a recent urge to refresh my knowledge of vacuum tubes took me back t...
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  • The Closest You’ll Get to a Trip to the Moon

    Originally posted Dec 30, 2013   With a few RF measurements along the way A holiday break can be a chance to step back a little from the demands of designing and testing the latest technology and instead pursue ...
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  • Cross-Discipline Education and Entertainment

    Originally posted Apr 29, 2013   Things that go bang in the night.  And in the day.  And anytime at all. Like so many of you I have a wide-ranging curiosity and get a kick out of learning, whether in t...
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  • Different Views & Log Scaling

    Originally posted Apr 8, 2013   Which view or scale is the right one for your needs? In a recent post on his “bad astronomy” blog (http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/04/06/curiosity_rover_...
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