Mars Rover project wins Rohde & Schwarz’s 2 minutes competition

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:
The Iowa State University MAVRIC team have been named as winners of the Rohde & Schwarz 2 minutes competition, receiving the star prize of a R&S Scope Rider to help design and debug a Mars Rover for entry into the University Rover Challenge (URC).

Rohde & Schwarz has named Iowa State University Aerospace Engineering Department as the winner of its 2 minutes competition and recipient of the star prize of an R&S Scope Rider. Scope Rider will help the University’s MAVRIC student team design and debug a Mars Rover and enter the University Rover Challenge (URC) robotics competition for college students.

Matthew Nelson, program coordinator for the Make to Innovate programme (M:2:I) at Iowa State University said, “It has been really helpful to look at the SPI bus and the I2C bus in real life conditions. The range of capabilities of Scope Rider also means we really only need one instrument which can analyse a data stream or look at a voltage level with equal ease.”

The M:2:I programme at Iowa State provides students the opportunity to participate in aerospace design projects that address real-world problems. Currently, over 200 students are involved, working on 13 projects.

The 2 minutes competition started a quest to find creative and innovative ways in which a handheld oscilloscope can be used, and was kicked off in June 2016 with Rohde & Schwarz launching a R&S Scope Rider into space. The R&S Scope Rider is claimed to be the first handheld oscilloscope with the functionality and touch and feel of a state of the art lab oscilloscope. It combines five instruments in a compact format and is said to perform equally well in the lab and in the field.

With an acquisition rate of 50,000 waveforms per second, a 10bit A/D converter developed by Rohde & Schwarz and a maximum bandwidth of 500MHz for the analogue input channels, the R&S Scope Rider is said to outperform comparable bench instruments. It is based on a high performance oscilloscope featuring a precise digital trigger system, 33 automatic measurement functions, mask test and XY diagram mode. In addition, it integrates four further instrument functions: a logic analyser with eight additional digital channels, a protocol analyser with trigger and decoding capability, a data logger and a digital multimeter.

Steven Edwards, marketing director at Rohde & Schwarz UK said: “The Iowa State students really showed that this truly is a go anywhere instrument – and we wish them every success in the upcoming URC challenge.”


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