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    Stepping up the Academic Staircase with Helping Hand of T&M

    T&M companies are driving the way to major innovations through boosting academia sectors with their equipment. These companies are not only available with their equipment but also with application note, videos, technical papers, use case examples. It is helping students to be well trained and well learnt;a well learnt student is always the future of great professionals. Instruments like handheld multimeters, benchtop multimeters, AC power supplies, DC power supplies, analogue and digital oscilloscopes, LCR meters and frequency counters are widely used while T&M instruments are highly used in research purposes also.

    To look at the wider spectrum of T&M usage in Academia, ELE Times correspondent & Sub Editor Sheeba Chauhan managed to get an expert opinion on the topic from Dr. Doug Baney, Corporate Director of Education, Keysight Technologies

    Excerpt:

    Dr. Doug Baney, Corporate Director of Education, Keysight Technologies

    ELE Times: What are the recent tools, programs and activities from Keysight to help increase technical engineering capabilities?

    Keysight has a broad spectrum of programs, solutions, and activities to advance the technical engineering capabilities in academia. One example, shown in the picture is our range of oscilloscopes, from the very affordable to the high-end, which are used in advanced laboratories

    Keysight programs include:

    • A wide range of academic electronic and optical test equipment from basic to the very advanced
    • Tailored Education Solutions aimed at academic
    • Keysight University, which includes Self-Paced eLearning Courses and application notes
    • Software Trials for universities
    • Certification Programs to enhance future employability: University Student Certification Program

    Keysight Innovation Challenges, the latest is currently scheduled to be launched in March 2022 (It calls on graduate and undergraduate engineering and computer science majors at universities worldwide to form majority-female teams to empower gender equality in STEM. Student teams will be asked to create a device powered by the Internet of Things that improves smart cities. Winning teams will receive up to $35,000 in cash prizes, up to $10,000 in Keysight equipment for their schools and other rewards) Keysight also offers ready-to-teach courseware to enhance engineering courses. Professors can engage students with lectures and hands-on lab exercises. The courseware includes editable slides, lab sheets, and a customized training kit. Courseware options include IoT System Design and Validation Fundamentals, IoT Wireless Communication and Compliance, IoT Precision Power Measurement and MEMS Sensors, and RF Microwave Circuit Design, Simulation and Measurement. This is advanced learning for students that have demonstrated excellence in these areas and wish to be certified by Keysight. It includes coursework and labs, along with experience using Keysight equipment, worldwide recognition, and access to industry methods and processes.

    ELE Times: What industry-grade products are also good for academia?

    Both hardware and software industry products are good for academia. The Keysight PathWave design software is used by a majority of RF designers worldwide to design systems for communications, radar and other high-frequency applications, and they are used in academia as well as for teaching and research. Test automation software, such as OpenTAP is used in high-performance industrial test automation settings and is also finding its way into academia.

    Dr. Doug Baney, Corporate Director of Education, Keysight Technologies says, “Keysight’s software solutions, such as the industry popular PathWave Design series, are widely-used in academia for students to learn circuit design, thermal, and system aspects, but it is just a part of the overall development flow that includes Keysight’s BenchVue lab management software solutions, PathWave Lab Operations remote access software as well as OpenTAP for test automation.”

    Great for industry and affordable for academia, Keysight’s Smart Bench Essentials (SBE) harnesses the power of four essential lab test instruments — a digital multimeter (DMM), a power supply, a function generator, and an oscilloscope — through one powerful graphical interface with integrated data management and analysis. Together with Keysight PathWave test software, lab managers and students can configure, control, and monitor multiple bench instruments from a single screen and automate workflows from test set up to report generation. They can also access lab instruments remotely to test, analyze, and share collaboratively with their peers. Keysight’s Smart Bench Essentials is being used in many engineering labs around the world and has received positive feedback. Professors welcome the intuitive nature of the instruments and their sleek design and small footprint on the bench, as well as remote capabilities that give students access to industry-grade equipment.

    In academic research, the tools used are like those used in industrial research drawing on Keysight’s powerful offerings in mmWave/THz, 5G/6G, photonics, advanced material characterization, quantum, battery/power energy, and more.

    ELE Times: What are the current focus areas for T&M companies for academia?

    Today, we’re seeing increased interest in remote and hybrid learning capabilities around tools and processes used to help students succeed when they graduate. Keysight’s PathWave Lab Operations for Remote Learning software allows lab managers and students to access lab instruments remotely. Students can request lab sessions, and lab managers can also guide students during their scheduled sessions with file transfer capabilities and live chat features. Students can remotely swap in different circuit components and evaluate the impact, say for example when studying a BJT amplifier. We’re also seeing a strong interest among professors for experiential learning hubs with real industry tools for students to gain hands-on experience.

    Dr. Doug Baney, Corporate Director of Education, Keysight Technologies says “Helping academia shape and prepare students for success after graduation is Keysight’s primary focus. This includes providing students exposure to both hardware test tools and design and validation software solutions.”

    ELE Times: What are the other services provided by your company once the equipment is delivered?

    Free self-guided learning resources such as application note, videos, technical papers, use case examples, and more, provide valuable information for users of Keysight equipment to get the most out of their investments. Keysight also provides after sales support, KeysightCare which covers equipment / software updates, technical support and repair. Keysight provides 24×7 KeysightCare support, which is essentially technical support available at any time to help make the transition in the labs with these new instruments as seamless as possible.

    ELE Times: How has the demand changed from analog to digital equipment?

    Demand remains strong for both analog front-end instruments and those that directly receive digital signals. The area of quantum computing relies heavily on RF and microwave analog equipment to prepare and sense quantum qubits. RF and photonic transmission, such as for 6G and beyond drives demand for analog equipment. Many other examples such as radar, sensing and space consumerization rely on analog equipment. On the digital side, we have logic analysis and timing analysers of digital signals and traffic, applications with post-sensor signal processing, FPGAs, and embedded controllers and computation that drive the need for digital equipment.

    Dr. Doug Baney, Corporate Director of Education, Keysight Technologies says, “The real world is analog and that drives demand for equipment with analog frontends, however, the means by which humans process, analyze, simulate, and metaverse, is heavily digital, so demand will be strong for both analog and digital equipment moving forward.”

    ELE Times: List a few of the recent Keysight T&M equipment used in the academic sector.

    The recent T&M solutions below were described above, and are the recent innovations used in the academic sector:

    • Smart Bench Essentials 4-Pack instruments
    • PathWave Lab Operations for Remote Learning
    • PathWave Lab Management and Control Collection
    • PathWave Design and Test Software

    Sheeba Chauhan | Sub Editor | ELE Times

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