The initial stages of a project are vitally important, but are frequently neglected in the rush to produce something tangible to show to management or financial backers.
This can be a particular problem with radio communications systems, where selection of an inappropriate system architecture can compromise the entire project. Hasty decisions made at the beginning of a project can be difficult to modify later (or even impossible to correct, given the inevitable constraints on timescale and cost).
An independent feasibility study, followed if necessary by a detailed design study, can significantly improve both the chances of success and the quality of the final design.
Giastar's feasibility studies begin with a rigorous analysis of the client's design requirements. If the available information is incomplete, ambiguous or unrealistic a preliminary specification is generated based on informal discussions with the client. The resulting baseline specification is approved by the client and then used as the basis for the feasibility study. The specification will normally distinguish between compulsory parameters and target parameters which are flexible or negotiable. The importance of this stage cannot be overestimated: it is not unusual for clients to initially overspecify systems to "play safe" - this can result in an overdesigned, overpriced product. Time spent reviewing the specifications usually saves time and money in the long term.
The intention of the feasibility study is not to promote a single "ideal" solution, which rarely exists, but to identify a number of possible solutions and assess the tradeoffs. This allows the client to make their own informed decision regarding the future course of the project.
The scope of the feasibility study will be agreed with the client in advance. A typical study for an RF system or device would include for each of severable architectures:
On completion of a satisfactory feasibility study, a formal design study may be necessary to examine the preferred solution in greater depth. This work is not necessarily done as a separate task: depending on the nature of the project it may be possible to include it in either the feasibility study or the design phase.
Examples of feasibility and design studies conducted by Giastar include:
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