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The professional realities of modern electronic instrument design

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1 Author(s)

After a brief historical overview of the electronic instrument design profession, the changes resulting from CAD/CAE (computer-aided design/computer-aided engineering) techniques are assessed. A traditional design cycle is identified consisting of design, prototyping, rework, final engineering, and documentation. It is felt that this new instrument design technology will destroy this cycle of design, development, and engineering. In its most elementary form, CAD can be regarded as a drafting tool; however, when a CAD system is surrounded by logic and analog simulators, by features such as autoplacement of parts and autorouting of connections, and even by automatic fabrication and test equipment, CAD becomes a tool that revolutionizes the instrument engineering process. Conventional prototyping is replaced by simulation and the roles of engineers and technicians change radically. It is argued that the experience of present designers is a valuable resource that should not be lost and that industry and government laboratories must provide institutional mechanisms, such as granting sabbatical time, to permit design engineers to catch up with the advances in technology and to maintain this forefront knowledge

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IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 3 )