Assuming nothing went awry when NASA's Phoenix mission descended onto Mars in May, a meteorological station provided by the Canadian Space Agency is now acquiring, processing and transmitting temperature and pressure data back on Earth. Recording the daily weather of the martian northern plains lets scientists understand the martian climate and geology, which will help them answer the age-old question: Did life ever exist?
Sunlight in the martian polar region is even weaker than at its equator, so the battery- and solar-powered systems must feature extremely efficient power management. Radiation-tolerant RTAX-S FPGAs from Actel Corp. are among the components that let this one-of-a-kind instrument meet these requirements.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.