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JUNE 2021 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 55 see is only the result of the cause. You need to dig deeper and determine the root cause. You can quickly identify the root cause of an issue by using the "five whys." at is a technique that digs deep into a problem by asking "why?" You must do that at least five times to get to the root cause of an issue. For example: I come out to my car, and I find my car has a dead battery. 1. I have a dead battery. Why? 2. e alternator is not charging the battery. Why? 3. Alternator belt is loose and frayed. Why? 4. e belt has reached its end of life. Why? 5. Did not replace the belt during the required maintenance. is is the root cause. If you did not go through this process, you might be quick to replace the dead battery and never fix the real issue and root cause of the problem. You might be shocked that what got identified as a problem was not even close to the root cause. It's essential to find the root causes. Otherwise, you are only looking at the effect. Ultimately, nothing gets solved. e solutions for the problem all flow directly from that root cause. My last point is that with a complex process like PCB design, risk management is essential. We've all heard this idiom: e definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expect- ing different results. You may see the problems but never learn how to tackle them. Don't keep doing the same old things that don't work. Get control of your design process and manage the risk. DESIGN007 John Watson, CID, is customer success manager for Altium. To read past columns or contact Watson, click here. An intelligent antenna developed by research- ers at Waterloo Engineering has been successfully tested, a major milestone in a multi-year, multi-mil- lion-dollar project. "This modular, intelligent technology platform provides a cost-effective solu- tion for a wide range of appli- cations—from fixed to mobility satellite broadband services, and for the rapidly emerging millimeter-wave 5G cellular ser- vices," said Safieddin (Ali) Safavi- Naeini, director of the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS) at Waterloo. Operating on the Ka-band, the low-cost technology was used in tests to stream video, surf the Internet, perform speed tests and conduct an uninter- rupted video conference over Webex. Safavi-Naeini has been working on intelligent antenna systems for satellite-based internet con- nectivity for almost two and a half decades, moti- vated by their potential to deliver broadband ser- vice via satellite to moving vehicles and bridge the digital divide by extending the reach of broadband Internet to vast areas of the world that lack access. "Measured over-the-air results have demonstrated the high performance of the compact, scalable antenna modules and validated our modular technol- ogy architecture for larger pan- els," he said. Researchers will now con- tinue testing over several differ- ent satellites to confirm interop- erability of the new antenna and radio system. (Source: University of Waterloo) Intelligent Antenna Passes the Test

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