Test & Measurement

Test and measurement equipment underpins the product design process, enabling engineers to verify their design is working in the way they want. If not, these essential devices help them to find out where the problems lie.

In this section, New Electronics keeps design engineers up to date with the Test and Measurement market, bringing a range of information about the products and their application.

Smart traffic systems help ease congestion

It is unlikely to be of much comfort when you're next in a traffic jam to know there is a plethora of traffic monitoring and management technologies out there trying to detect the build up of traffic and help you on your way.

After 50 years of instrumentation development, is it time for a rethink?

As consumer electronics devices get smarter, their applications are migrating from the personal to the work environment. Using laptops – the same laptop – at home and in the place of work (and all points in between) is a fact of life. But are smart phones and tablets taking this to a level that could change the way in which engineers interact with their working world? Not only will people expect to control their heating, TVs and entertainment, cooking et al with their consumer devices, they will also expect to do this at work as well.

How do T&M companies validate the performance of their products?

Boundaries are there to be pushed. Designers, particularly in the communications sector, are pushing those boundaries aggressively by creating products that carry more data, run faster and use less power. Designing your product is one thing; testing it is another, so engineers turn to similarly leading edge products from test and measurement specialists. But how does a T&M company that has, for example, a 70GHz oscilloscope test that product? Who tests the tester?

Camera pill technology set to ease cancer diagnosis

Colonoscopies can be an uncomfortable procedure for patients who may already be worried about what the results may find. The process involves probing the large intestine with a tiny fibre optic camera, known as an endoscope, embedded in a 4ft long, flexible tube.

Embedding a single test solution

"There is this 'intersection' of software and hardware that needs to be controlled, essentially through a single interface. Not only an interface in terms of accessing the system, but also an interface for accessing things that a hardware engineer would want to know about, as well as access for software engineers as they do their development job." So says Larry Osborn, ASSET's product manager for Sourcepoint.

The latest trends in test and measurement

Buying an instrument used to be straightforward, in as much you specified what you wanted and then found equipment to meet that specification. Obviously, this defines the limitations of what that instrument can be used for, but T&M companies over more recent years have introduced ways to make their instruments both more affordable and more flexible.

Software tools set to play a more critical role in system design

More projects with greater complexity mean embedded design teams need to be more efficient and this is influencing their choice of technology. Evidence is provided by mobile phones: 10 years ago, devices featured a wireless module and one processor, today, smartphones have various interfaces and a number of processors in order to execute a multitude of applications. Cars are even more complex, with as many as 100 processors per vehicle, and a similar trend is followed in industrial applications, where electronic systems and machines feature a wealth of control and monitoring systems.

North American Eagle bids to become the fastest land vehicle

For a brief period in 1964, when the rules governing land speed records were transitioning from wheel powered to jet propelled vehicles, the official land speed record was held by Donald Campbell in his Bluebird – and this was set in Australia. That apart, the record has been set for the past 80 years in America, principally at the Bonneville Salt Flats or, more recently, at the Black Rock Desert.

Nanotechnology prepares to hit the mainstream

Dr Sian Fogden was a researcher at Imperial College, studying nanotubes for her PhD, when Linde Electronics became interested in her work. Now Linde Nanomaterials, part of Linde Electronics, is pursuing this line of work in California with Dr Fogden at the helm. The resulting product, a nanotube ink, was launched at NT13 – the international nanotube conference held in Helsinki in the closing days of June 2013.

Understanding oscilloscope waveform thickness attributes

Oscilloscope waveforms show real world electronic signals. How well the scope displays those waveforms determines its performance. Assuming two scopes have adequate base specifications – like bandwidth, sample rate and frequency response – does the better scope show thin or fat waveforms? Like most engineering questions, the answer is 'it depends'.

Industry trends conspire to make power analysis an important consideration for designers

As a rule, test and measurement companies need to be at the forefront of technology – their products need to be at least as capable as the equipment which they are being used to design. However, until recently, it seems that the traditional heavy hitters in T&M were happy to leave power analysis to the specialists in the field – notably Yokogawa, which claims to represent more than half of the market.

New system offers solution to No Fault Found

The problem rejoices under the catch-all of NFF – No Fault Found – and covers intermittent faults that cannot be traced when the serious business of looking for them starts. Other names for the problem include 'Cannot Duplicate' or 'Cannot Reproduce Fault' or even 'No Trouble Found'. Whatever the name, it is a problem that affects operation and maintenance in every type of electronics equipment, and it also has an impact on design engineers.

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