Article Summaries

Breaking Nyquist Limitations in Reflectometry-Based Wire Diagnosis Systems by Compressive Sampling

Tzila Ajamian, Said Moussaoui, and Antoine Dupret


The basic architecture of any reflectometry system for the injection of the signal in the Network Under Tests requires appropriate Digital-to-Analog Converters. Even for the most demanding requirements in reflectometry, their specifications in terms of resolution and sampling rate can easily be found. Yet, measuring the reflected signal should be performed using Analog-to-Digital Converters capable of reaching high sampling frequencies together with sufficient resolution. Such converters are either extremely expensive or beyond the current state of the art. In that respect, this paper presents a new architectural approach for designing such reflectometry systems based on a Compressive Sampling method bypassing the Nyquist rate.

This text is from the article’s introduction. 

Data Collection for Disconnected Diagnostics in a Net-Centric Environment

Josselyn Webb and Anthony Southern



This project will provide the Marine Corps’ Automated Test Equipment Program (ATEP) with the ability to easily collect diagnostic data. The user will no longer have a multi-step process. It will be as simple as connecting the Electronic Maintenance Support System device to the ATE and running the program. This project will also provide a means to reliably capture tactical ground vehicle usage, fault, and diagnostic data and transfer it to the enterprise. Original equipment manufacturer applications and hardware can be used to collect accurate data, which can then be published to Boeing’s Health Management System and sent to the enterprise for analysis. This effort is still in R&D but in ATEP’s opinion has the potential to transform the Marines analyze and use the fault data from ATEP’s test systems.

This text is from the article’s introduction and conclusion. 

Test Challenges of Multi-Gigabit Serial Buses

Michael Fluet and Pavel Gilenberg


As the complexity and bandwidth requirements of modern electronics and avionics increase, digital signal interfaces are evolving. Parallel buses have given way to serial buses, electrical interfaces are being replaced by optical interfaces, and data rates are continually rising. While this proliferation of high-speed serial interfaces enables impressive new technologies, it can also create unique test challenges for a test engineer. Through a combination of high speed serial protocol testing and optical parametric testing, a test engineer can address the many new challenges of testing optical interfaces and guarantee a unit under test is functional and has significant performance margin.

This summary includes text from the article. 

A System for Detecting Failed Electronics Using Acoustics

Russell Shannon, Gregory Zucaro, Justin Tallent, Vontrelle Collins, and John Carswell


This paper describes an effort to develop a non-contact solution to detect failed components on a printed circuit board without having first to remove the conformal coating. This technique detects density changes in the physical makeup of circuit board components due to failure. By analyzing ultrasonic reflections from components at 2 MHz, the authors were able to distinguish between working components and failed components with varying degrees of accuracy. The authors applied this technique to 1 KΩ resistors and three types of transistor-to-transistor logic integrated circuits. Over-voltage faults were induced in these components in order to generate observable density changes. Reflections were processed for time-domain and frequency-domain features, which were used to train neural networks to distinguish between working components and failed components. The authors have demonstrated that lowcost acoustic measurements in the megahertz range can be used to detect failures in ICs and other common circuit board components.

This text is from the article’s introduction. 

Managing Factory Test Content in Rish Adverse Industries

Randal Bailey and Charles Morris


Managing Factory Test Content (MFTC) describes techniques to achieve ‘lean’ test solutions when confronting compressed design schedules, product maturation risks, and high volume. This paper highlights common obstacles to leaner testing in the presence of these forces and reveals how design-centric testing often creeps into defense factories. The MFTC technique addresses this challenge by placing focus on the establishment of minimal and sufficient Core Testing at the beginning of the product development process. The approach then carves out a category of Supplemental Testing that is “recurring yet temporary” for the purpose of mitigating risks during early production phases.

This text is from the article’s introduction. 

The Jitter Measurement Ways: The Jitter Graphs

Eulalia Balestrieri, Francesco Picariello, Sergio Rapuano, and Joan Tudosa 


In recent years, jitter characterization has acquired an ever greater importance for many applications and standard technologies. As a consequence, several measurement approaches have been developed, including different jitter graphical representations, decomposition methods and measurement instruments that can be used singularly or together. Unfortunately, choosing the approach most suited to the particular need and / or specific application can be very hard. To help engineers dealing with the graph choice, this paper provides an overview of jitter graphical representations, highlighting their limitations and advantages.

This text is from the article’s introduction. 



Basic Metrology - It’s Elementary!

Richard Davis


We are now well into 2019, the International Year of the Periodic Table, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the pioneering work of Dmitri I. Mendeleev (1834-1907). He not only made sense of the zoo of chemical elements that were known in 1869 but also predicted the existence of several elements that were unknown at the time, as well as their expected properties. Mendeleev took advantage of advances that had been made in the measurement of atomic weights (relative atomic masses is the preferred term in our century) of the elements to guide his thinking, which was indisputably bold and prescient.

This summary was provided by the author. 

Life After Graduation

Development of an Automatic Measurement System:
A Lab Experience

Vincenzo Marletta


The course on Electronic Measurements at the University of Catania, Italy is aimed at third year students of the first degree in Electronic Engineering. It includes both lectures and laboratory sessions. Every week students are required to spend four hours in laboratory activities. The proposed activities in which they will have to experiment have as their sole denominator the use of the basic instrumentation (arbitrary waveform generator, oscilloscope, Data AcQuisition board (DAQ)) and the typical communication buses (the General Purpose Interface Bus, GPIB, and the
Universal Serial Bus, USB) aimed at the development of an automatic measurement system.

This summary includes text from the column

Future Trends in I&M - Diagnostics, Maintenance and Condition Monitoring for Cyber-Physical Systems

Lorenzo Ciani


Note from Melanie Ooi: It is a great pleasure to introduce Dr. Lorenzo Ciani as this issue’s guest columnist. He is an esteemed colleague in the Instrumentation and Measurement Society and an active member of the Technical Committee 32 on Fault Tolerant Measurement Systems. Lorenzo was the recipient of the 2015 IEEE IMS Outstanding Young Engineer Award for his work on advancing instrumentation and measurement in the field of reliability analysis.

This text is from the introduction to the column.