Atwater Kent Award
This pewter plate was presented to me upon my
graduation in 1989 from the University of Vermont. See "Whatever Happened to
Atwater Kent?" in the July 1969 issue of Popular Electronics magazine.
Arthur Atwater Kent was born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1873.
National Radio Institute
Here is my certificate for completing a National Radio Institute (NRI) Electronic
Design Technology course.
Kirt R. Blattenberger
Electrical engineer with twenty years demonstrated success in a product development
environment specifying, designing, and testing radar, radio and wireless communications
hardware. Electronics technician for eleven years prior to earning a BSEE. Experienced
in detailed design, prototype fabrication, testing, and documentation of RF and
analog circuit boards and connectorized components. Some digital and PLD design.
Familiar with many software packages.
System Design Experience:
Beginning with my first assignment out of college performing system design for
an airborne L-Band receiver, I have purposed to increase my knowledge of system
requirements and understand the effects and limitations that realizable components
impose on the system. I have combined creation of personal software and usage of
commercial software to gain an understanding of internal and external effects on
performance, and to compare those predictions with actual prototype models built
in the laboratory. A combination of extensive research into known phenomena, conducting
tests to determine real-life performance and tapping the experienced engineers is
utilized throughout the initial specification, design and implementation phases.
Lessons learned are fed back into the models to make future predictions more accurate.
Having participated in design teams for airborne and ground-based radar, military
communications, and commercial satellite earth station systems, I have a very good
appreciation for the great number of factors that can - and do - affect system performance.
Circuit Design Experience:
Many printed circuit board designs have been completed, ranging from simple power
supply filters to multi-layered, mixed signal digital/RF modems. Most of my work
entails analog and RF circuits up through about 1 GHz, with a small amount of digital
support circuitry. Opamps, lumped element passive and active filters, DAC's/ADC's,
switches, couplers, control & monitoring, and power supplies are among successfully
implemented designs. A good understanding of component and circuit trace coupling
has resulted in very few second or third iterations of PCB's due to crosstalk or
interference issues. I have supervised the PCB layout process for many complex PCB's
that included controlled impedance layers, analog/digital power and ground separation,
RFI/EMI shielding and high density, double-sided configurations. Software simulation
primarily included use of MicroSim and Touchstone, with various other packages used
for minor features (e.g., active filter design).
With frequencies above 1 GHz, connectorized components with coax interconnects
have been the rule. Some waveguide work has been performed in the S-, C-, X- and
Ka-bands. These circuits have usually been part of a baseband-to-microwave conversion
chain, so the total system requirements were included in the component selection
and interface plan.
Technical Writing Experience:
For every project on which I have worked, writing in the form of system performance
specifications, electrical test procedures, production assembly procedures, system
reference documents and proposal generation has been an integral part. Daily maintenance
of the RF Cafe web site and correspondence with site visitors often requires application
of sound technical writing skills. A couple published articles in trade magazines
and very extensive user's manuals for my software are included as well. Finally,
I have performed a couple pre-publication technical book reviews for a publisher.
Customer Interface Experience:
Beginning with proposals and culminating with presentations to the customer for
design reviews and visits to customer sites for installation assistance, my experiences
have been very satisfactory. At times, frequent telephone and face-to-face meetings
were necessary to assure customer expectations were met. Although I enjoy working
directly with customers, my preference is to remain in the plant and avoid travel
My borrowed motto is, "If it hasn't been tested, it doesn't work." No amount
of simulation and planning can suffice to declare a design working without testing
over all planned operational conditions. Accordingly, much of my time as an engineer
has been spent in a lab environment building, tuning and measuring circuits and
systems. Test equipment familiarity is listed below.
Ability to enter new situations and quickly come up to speed on requirements,
then propose and implement solutions. I have successfully worked both alone and
in design teams. As part of my RF Cafe effort, I consistently review many industry
news events and vendor products to keep current on the latest innovations.
I prefer not to take on project management roles, preferring rather to be an
individual contributor and concentrate on technical aspects of projects. Being required
travel for anything other than seminars or classes causes me to look for new jobs.
Detailed Experience: (chronological
order, beginning with the most recent)
Performed competitive analysis and report writing regarding
power amplifiers, transceivers and front-end modules for cell phones, Bluetooth,
WLAN and GPS products
Investigated ESD protection and testing methods for silicon
and GaAs MMICs and modules, including IEC61000-2-4, JEDEC and MIL-STD-883
Maintained competitive analysis website on company Intranet
Designed turn-key production test solutions for wireless base
station and wireless appliance products in the GSM, DCS, PCS and iDEN™ bands.
Generated electrical engineering portion of test system proposals,
including concept definition, cost estimate, labor schedule and customer interface.
Test fixture and system interface design for high volume production
environments, including pin probing of circuit boards and design of over-the-air
antenna RF couplers.
Performed passive intermodulation (PIM) testing on high power
base station components.
Supported design and integration effort on VHF radio multi-port
cosite interference cancellation system.
Designed UHF amplifier/filter printed circuit assembly.
Designed and tested VHF switch matrix and amplifier PCA.
Perform system design and analysis on C-, X-, and Ku-Band
satellite earth station systems.
Create production assembly drawings and parts lists.
Performed preliminary RF/analog design and analysis of transmitter/receiver
chains on S-Band mobile radar system proposal.
Specified, designed, analyzed, ordered parts for, directed
building of, documented, tested and integrated RF/analog transmit/receive chain
of Multi-Purpose Airport Radar (MPAR) IR&D project. S-Band through baseband
up/down conversion using combination of coaxial and waveguide components was accomplished.
Interfaces to digital controller circuits included LVDS, RS-422 and relay implementations.
High speed PIN switches and attenuators; low noise amplifiers; high precision, low
noise opamp circuits; and precision A/D converters were used.
Provided technical support to field engineering effort responsible
for initial testing and verification of active element phased array antenna.
Planned and implemented physical integration of radar system
areas at local and open air test sites.
Designed and directed building of digital processing equipment
rack and RF/Analog equipment rack, including interface cabling.
Initiated and designed Intranet web site for RF/Analog Design
Maintained CAE software tool upgrades and performed user support.
Performed analysis and designed front end for UHF/L-Band,
4-channel, direction-finding (DF) airborne receiving system including BIT circuitry.
Combination of connectorized and discrete components employed in implementation
of two chassis assemblies and an 8-layer, surface-mount PCB.
Designed S/C-Band multi-octave front end for 8-channel DF
Completed project planning and design of test station to support
depot maintenance on a tracking and ranging S-Band receiver employed in the Air
Force Satellite Control Network (for AlliedSignal Technical Services Co.). Design
of 10 MHz distribution unit, S-Band AM modulator, and creation of an overall testing
philosophy were my primary responsibilities.
Founded Waypoint Software in 1992 to market TxRx Designer
Conceived of and wrote TxRx Designer software (all versions)
in Turbo Pascal. Wrote and published user's manual. Owner of all copyrights. TxRx
Designer is a full-featured frequency conversion and cascade analysis CAE package
with a custom graphical user interface.
Created and implemented marketing plan for advertisement in
worldwide RF engineering journals. Instituted customer response and order processing
Conceived of and wrote EE Ref software in Turbo C++ for Windows.
Owner of all copyrights.
Lead engineer for the redesign of a van-based mobile interrogation
system used in automated utility meter reading (910 - 960 MHz). Performed system
analysis for transmit and receive subsystems. Eliminated long-standing modulation-induced
spurious output from transmitter while increasing output power. Designed new low
noise front end for downconverter. Specified higher performance Tx/Rx duplexer.
Modified receiver cards to improve bandwidth and detector response. Wrote and performed
extensive system test and production test procedures. Very successful program.
Served as Design Engineering interface to Manufacturing for
production related issues on van-based and handheld units.
Designated test equipment for automated testing in newly formed
Engineering Test group.
Responsible for RF and analog design of a Single-Channel-Per-Carrier
earth station modem for the Inmarsat satellite system. Incorporated an O-QPSK/BPSK
modulator/demodulator for translation of baseband voice/fax/data information to
a 70 MHz IF within a dense, multi-layer surface-mount board. Active and passive
filters, A/D, D/A, RF amplifiers, PIN attenuators, power splitters/combiners, mixers,
and a digital output power level setting with digital leveling loop were employed.
Designed monitor/control ELPD. Wrote interface and test software. Thoroughly documented
design and production test procedures.
Designed and implemented frequency extension into existing
analog transmitter and receiver for Inmarsat M/B system. Performed detailed design
verification tests and wrote automated test software for production.
Specified and designed rack-mounted C-Band upconverters and
downconverters to Inmarsat specifications. Integrated RF subsystem, SBC, custom
interface PCB, and local/remote user interface. Performed system analysis and hardware
testing. Created documentation for moving into production phase.
Participated in proposal writing on numerous frequency conversion
Designed Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA)
installations for electrical substations.
Introduced volume production techniques to facilitate large-scale
SCADA installation effort.
Prepared test documentation and trained test technicians.
Worked with engineering team to design programmable, multi-channel
airborne L-Band downconverter.
Designed and documented hardware packaging and substrates
for hybrid RF, digital, and analog circuits.
Performed system cascade analysis of RF conversion path using
OmniSys and custom spreadsheet.
Originator and webmaster of RF Cafe website, Erie, PA 4/2007-Present
Major RFIC engineering & production company, NC
12/2001 - 4-2007: Applications Engineer
Agilent Technologies, Loveland, CO 7/00 - 8/01: Systems
Xetron Corporation, Cincinnati, OH 2/99 - 4/00: Senior
Hardware Design Engineer
Stanford Telecommunications, Colorado Springs, CO 7/98 - 1/99:
Senior System Engineer
Lockheed Martin, OR&SS Syracuse, NY 8/96 - 6/98: Principle
Hardware Design Engineer
Harris Corporation , GASD Melbourne, FL 1/96 - 7/96: RF Engineer
System Technology Associates, Colorado Springs, CO 8/95 -
1/96: System Engineer
Waypoint Software, Colorado Springs, CO 11/94 - 8/95: Senior
RF Engineer / Owner
Itron, Waseca, MN 11/93 - 10/94: Senior RF Engineer
Comsat Corporation, Clarksburg, MD 11/90 - 10/93: RF Engineer
Potomac Edison, Hagerstown, MD 4/90 - 10/90: Electrical Engineer
General Electric, AESD, Utica, NY 5/89 - 3/90: Electrical
Simmonds Precision Instruments, Vergennes, VT 3/86 - 9/87:
Sr. Electronics Technician
Westinghouse Electric, Annapolis, MD 2/82 - 3/86
U.S.A.F., Robins AFB, GA 11/78 - 1/82: ATC Radar Repair
University (NTU) Ft. Collins, Colorado
Some Master's level classes in microwave engineering
University of Vermont
(UVM) Burlington, Vermont (Spring 1989)
Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering,
3.74/4.00 GPA, Magna Cum Laude
Anne Arundel Community
College (AACC) Arnold, Maryland (Spring 1987)
Associate in electrical engineering transfer program,
U.S.A.F. Air Traffic Control Radar Repair School Keesler AFB,
Mississippi (Fall 1979)
Honor Graduate, 96/100 average
Test Equipment Familiarity:
Spectrum analyzer, oscilloscope, frequency counter, power meter, SINAD meter,
frequency synthesizer, signal generator, DMM, gain/phase meter, I/Q test set, network
analyzer, logic analyzer, arbitrary waveform generator, VSWR meter, noise figure
meter, audio analyzer, modulation analyzer, passive intermodulation (PIM) analyzer
(including GPIB interface to many).
CAE Design Tool Familiarity:
RF Workbench, OmniSys, Touchstone, ADS, OrCad, Altera, MicroSim Spice, MicroCap,
MicroLogic, AutoCad, Visio.
Currently inactive - have held TS, SBI
Owner and webmaster of RF Cafe web site ( https://www.rfcafe.com), 1996 to
Atwater Kent Engineering Excellence Award, University of Vermont,
RF Design Software Contest, RF Design, 1992 (article in 11/92
"A Graphical Approach To Mixer Spurious Product Analysis",
Wireless Design & Development, 5/96
Leisure Time Interests:
As a lifelong aviation enthusiast, I spend as much time as possible building
and flying model aircraft of all types, including radio control ,free flight and
control line (www.AirplanesAndRockets.com).
Amateur astronomy, while a major pastime during my Air Force years, is now a secondary
hobby limited to monthly reading of magazines. Amateur radio is a relatively recent
pastime as well. Computer programming and website design manage to take a large
portion of my "free" time.