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VITA Personalities

As VITA grows in innovations and ideas, we look to those participants actively engaged in our organization to provide insights and feedback on how to best shape our standards into the future.  Our VITA Personalities segment highlights those that may be a bit newer to embedded community as well as industry veterans, who are all making contributions to our community and helping shape today’s VITA standards.

This critical aspect of our ecosystem is what keeps our organization vibrant and our standards relevant. If you know someone with embedded computing experience who may want to share their view on being a part of VITA, drop us a note at content@vita.com.


  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019 12:40 PM | VITA Marketing (Administrator)

    Paul Mesibov, VP of Engineering, Pentek

    Paul Mesibov is co-founder of Pentek and holds the position of Vice President of Engineering. He has over 35 years’ experience in the electronics industry and oversees the design and implementation of Pentek’s digital signal processing, software radio and data acquisition products. He is currently an active member of SOSA, PICMIG, VITA, PCI-SIG and IEEE as well as a key contributor to several ANSI standards.  Prior to his current position, he was a design engineer for AP Circuit, Inc. designing active signal processing analog filters and Wavetek, Inc. designing benchtop signal processing filter products. He holds a bachelors and masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the City University of New York.  Aside from Paul's engineering forte, he is also an accomplished musician.

    WORK WITH VITA

    1. Explain some of the work you’re doing with VITA 49.0 (as known as VRT for VITA Radio Transport) and its recent companion standard, VITA 49.2.

    Having been involved in the development of VITA 49 since its inception, I participated in drafting several parts of the original standard and have continued as an active member of the working group to extend its scope and features.  At Pentek, we’ve worked to add these VITA 49.0 protocol engines to several of products over the last eight years, including the latest Quartz RFSoC product line.

    2. What is the significance of the new packet classes added to VITA 49.2 in 2017?

    These new extensions add support for transmit signals so that precisely-timed waveforms can be generated by D/A converters for radar pulses, counter measures and communication systems. They also add control packets that can control the operational parameters of receivers and transmitters as well as monitor status to verify proper operation. (RELATED: VITA 49.2 Continues to Evolve)

    For example, the RFSoC products mentioned generate VITA 49.0 header packets that are appended to data blocks acquired with A/D converters and digital down converters. The headers include metadata for the signals including time-stamp, frequency and bandwidth information.  These packets are extremely useful for distributing radio signals across the network-based radio topologies that are now replacing the older dedicated “stovepipe” architectures.

    3. Why is SDR (software-defined radio) an important component of embedded systems?

    SDR really means radio equipment whose operating modes are controlled by programming, rather than fixed circuitry, for a particular radio band or signal type. Specifically, SDR means that radio signals are digitized as “close” to the antenna as possible and the traditional sections of radios, like mixers, oscillators, filters and demodulators, are all performed by programmable and configurable digital signal processing blocks. This allows common hardware elements to be re-purposed for a wide range of different signals and different applications. This offers a big savings in SWaP (size, weight and power), which is especially important in aircraft and unmanned vehicles. It also extends the useful life cycle of radio equipment because new features can often be added by software upgrades.

    WHY ENGINEERING?

    1. Did you always want to be an engineer? If so, why?  If not, how’d you wind up here?

    When I was five I wanted to be a “builder.”  I spent the 1960s watching every NASA rocket launch. Looking back on some of the notebooks I have from when I was 12, it’s clear that I liked robots, since I have a whole bunch of drawings showing how I could wire their motors.  I ended up spending my teenage years playing electric guitar, which meant building up guitar amps from old radios.  Next thing I knew, I was in a community college physics class on a field trip to the Princeton Plasma Physics lab visiting their fusion reactor.  Someone asked if there were any electrical engineers in the group.  That’s when I knew what I wanted to do.

    2. What has surprised you the most about the work you do with embedded computing? (or engineering in general)

    That I’m still doing it.  Seriously though, the surprising thing about electrical engineering is the range and scope of the learning to which a good engineer is exposed.  After almost 40 years as an EE, I know at least something about a wide range of engineering disciplines – not just those I studied in school.  Most good EEs say the same thing.

    3. What is one of the biggest issues currently facing engineers?

    While the Internet has been a fantastic resource for engineering research – I’d never want to go back to the days of searching the IEEE Proceedings on microfiche – it is not a replacement for critical thinking.  When there is more information than ever to sift through, the ability to put information in context has never been more important.  I suppose that is good advice for everyone, not just engineers.

    4. What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of engineering?

    Most successful embedded systems engineers are hobbyists.  Play with this stuff at home, too.

    Whatever you decide to pursue, make sure you go to a place where there are mentors that you respect and that the culture of the organization promotes learning and intellectual growth.  It’s sometimes hard to know going in, but do what you can to find out.  Working at the right place sets up your whole career. 

    Off the cuff:  Tell us your favorite joke.

    Q: What is the difference between hardware and software? 

    A: Hardware is a thing that if you play with long enough it breaks.  Software is a thing that if you play with long enough it works.

  • Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:27 PM | VITA Marketing (Administrator)

    Patrick Collier, Architect – Senior Systems Engineer, Harris

    Patrick is an Open Systems Architect and Systems Engineer with Harris Corporation. His focus is on the development and use of open architectures for in space and non-space applications, an area he has been active in since 2009.  In addition to his current work with VITA, Patrick was a lead for the Space Universal Modular Architecture (SUMO), where he worked to incorporate existing space-related standards and architectures into SUMO.

    Work with VITA

    1. Please explain some of the work you’re doing with VITA & the HOST/SOSA initiative.

    I’m a co-founder of SOSA and chair of the hardware working group as well as the co-founder of the Next Generation Space Interconnect Standard (NGSIS), which is an umbrella that includes the SpaceVPX, SpaceVPXLite, and SpaceVNX efforts. I’m also chair of all three space-related VITA working groups.

    During my short tenure at NAVAIR (government civilian), I worked on the HOST effort as a hardware lead.

    2.  How do you feel this initiative will help the strengthen the embedded computing industry?

    SOSA, HOST, CMOSS, SpaceVPX, and all the others are working to create an ecosystem that’s based upon a consensus-based architecture and building blocks that maximize portability and reuse, among other quality attributes that are important to these efforts.

    Why Engineering?

    1.  Did you always want to be an engineer? If so, why?  If not, how’d you wind up here?

    I originally wanted to be an astronaut (go figure) and an Olympic track and field athlete – made it closer to the Olympic dream than the other. 

    Science has always been in me.

    2.  What has surprised you the most about the work you do with embedded computing? (or engineering in general):

    The term “Think outside the box” is very subjective.  Incredible technologies, incredible ideas, and a great potential.  Engineers need to think globally, instead of inside a compartment, to understand the “connectedness” of everything.

    3.  What are some of the biggest issues currently facing engineers?

    Thinking globally.  Developing outside of their comfort zones.  Engaging with others as part of a larger group with a variety of disparate viewpoints.

    4.  What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of engineering?

    Consider this field as a mix of science and art.  Think about potentials at a macro level as well at a micro level.  Look to a convergence of a variety of fields and endeavors.

    Off the cuff: What’s the most recent show you’ve binge watched?
    Games of Thrones – I love dragons!

  • Monday, September 24, 2018 9:06 AM | VITA Marketing (Administrator)

    Steven Devore, Senior Electrical Engineer, Leonardo DRS Signal Solutions

    Steve received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2012 from the Pennsylvania State University. His undergraduate studies focused on research programs within the Student Space Programs Laboratory (SSPL) along with initiating a collaborative project with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, using his satellite radio design for first responders. His time at TE Connectivity culminated with a patent for a novel RF interconnect design before joining Leonardo DRS Signal Solutions in 2012. Steve has been an instrumental architect of the system design for the DRS VPX product line and building trusted relationships with customers.

    Work with VITA

    1.  Explain some of the work you’re doing with VITA & its related standards.

    I initiated the VITA 67.3 standard effort in 2012 with a focus in resolving the blind mate coax issues that were forthcoming. After chairing that standard for several years, I shifted my attention to integrating these modules with the VITA 65 standard. After that began successful adoptions, I started a new standard, VITA 66.5, to address the same concerns DRS had with coax, but now in the optical interface space, five years later.

    2.  How has being involved in an effort like the CMOSS initiative affected your view of the embedded computing industry?

    The CMOSS, SOSA, and HOST standards initiative are the extensions of VITA standards that VSO members had anticipated. Government customers are collecting information throughout industry that is the result of past and present collaboration efforts, and applying it to solve recent needs. I’m encouraged by their openness to industry suggestions, and the willingness of competitors to compromise. It’s been very rewarding to see the standards that I have contributed to, VITA 65, 66.5, and 67.3, being adopted in the next generation of embedded systems.

    Why Engineering?

    1.  Did you always want to be an engineer? If so, why?  If not, how’d you wind up here?

    Yes, since early childhood.

    2.  What has surprised you the most about the work you do with embedded computing? (or engineering in general)

    The biggest surprise is how many niches exist within the MIL AERO marketspace. Within these niche markets, there’s a strong community where knowledge is shared, but once you go beyond those bounds, everything can change. From the terminology used, to the design process itself, it can be difficult to communicate and effectively collaborate as programs incorporate a wider variance of target applications.

    3.  What is one of the biggest issue currently facing engineers?

    The largest issue RF engineers are facing today is the consolidation of component vendors. This has forced large obsolescence efforts and limited the breadth of available components for new designs. The positive outlook is that this process creates an opportunity for new, small companies to fill the void with innovative offerings.

    4.  What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of engineering?

    Don’t be afraid to try multiple specialties early in your schooling and career. It’s key to success in any career choice to determine what you’re passionate about and focus your career to support those passions.


    Off the cuff: Tell us your favorite joke.

    If God isn't a Penn State Fan, why is the sky blue and white?

  • Monday, June 04, 2018 9:24 AM | VITA Marketing (Administrator)

    Dylan Lang, Standards Development Manager, Samtec Inc.

    Dylan was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.  He first became interested in electronics in his high-school physics classes and in working with his dad on restoring vintage audio gear.   These motivated him to choose a career based around the subject.  After getting his Associate’s in Electrical Engineering Technology, he lived in Brooklyn, NY for three years doing some volunteer work.  Upon moving back to Pittsburgh, Dylan joined Samtec and has been here ever since.

    Work With VITA

    1.  Explain some of the work you’re doing with VITA & the upcoming FMC+ standard?

    Recently, I have been participating in several VITA marketing efforts as well as putting embedded systems in front of our customers.  In addition, I serve as Editor on several working groups (VITA 57 and VITA 74) and am Chairman of the VNX (VITA 74) Marketing Alliance.

    2.  The VITA 57.1 FMC specification defines two connectors: High Pin Count (HPC) and Low Pin Count (LPC). What purpose does each serve in a FMC-based system?

    The (LPC) connectors provide 68 user-defined, single-ended signals (or 34 user-defined, differential pairs); (HPC) connectors provide 160 user-defined, single-ended signals (or 80 user-defined, differential pairs), 10 serial transceiver pairs and additional clock.

    These prove to be extremely useful when developing on FPGA-based platforms.  Both the LPC and HPC connectors allow for flexibility by providing user-defined pins while maintaining high data rates.

     Why Engineering?

    1.  Did you always want to be an engineer? If so, why?  If not, how’d you wind up here?

    Originally, I wanted to be a Calculus teacher.  I loved the way mathematics just made sense and the process of logical thinking.  However, I wanted to balance that with my love for electronics, so engineering seemed like a happy medium.

    2.  What has surprised you the most about the work you do with embedded computing? (or engineering in general)

    I would say the impact of embedded computing on almost everything around us proved to be a wake-up call for me.  From your smart phone to space, embedded computing is everywhere.

    3.  What is one of the biggest issues currently facing engineers?

    One of the biggest challenges in the embedded realm is designing a solution to please everyone.  With Standards families like VITA, there are so many companies and interested parties that can participate, it can be a challenge to think from so many different angles at once.

    4.  What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of engineering?

    I would say go for it!  While it can be technically intense and at times seem overwhelming, the results are well worth it in knowing how far-reaching the effects of your efforts are.  So many companies like Facebook, Apple, Intel, and Google thrive on the latest in embedded technologies, so it’s great to be a part of that.

    Off the cuff: What’s the most recent show you’ve binge watched?

    Not necessarily binge watching, but have been following the NHL playoffs very closely.

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