Electric superbike development assisted by the R&S Scope Rider oscilloscope

18 September 2018

The University of Nottingham race team with rider Daley Mathison and the R&S Scope Rider

The user-friendly functionality features of the R&S Scope Rider, provided to the vehicle's Nottingham University-based development team, helped to ensure their most successful ever electric racing superbike.

Rohde & Schwarz is pleased to have helped the University of Nottingham (UoN) develop their electric superbike, which took second place in the SES TT Zero race at the Isle of Man TT this summer. The UoN achieved its highest ever placing at the event, splitting the two factory Mugen bikes: a historic feat never before achieved by a university team.

Rohde & Schwarz provided their handheld oscilloscope, the R&S Scope Rider, to the UoN team to develop their 2018 electric bike. The R&S Scope Rider was used in the lab, on the rolling road dyno, test track and on the track at the Isle of Man TT during practice and race weeks. The team managed to improve on their previous position of third in 2017, shave 1.45 minutes off last year’s lap time – and increase their average lap speed from 109mph to 119mph.

The Isle of Man TT Zero race is an electric motorsport event, which was introduced in 2010. It involves one lap (37.733 miles) of the Snaefell Mountain Course, whereby the motorcycles have to be powered without the use of carbon-based fuels and have zero toxic/noxious emissions.

The Nottingham electric superbike has undergone considerable modification in the last 12 months, including a new powertrain with a different converter and a modified motor. Rohde & Schwarz provided an R&S Scope Rider oscilloscope to the UoN team to be used principally for fault finding and communications management.

Dr Miquel Gimeno-Fabra, assistant professor in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and University of Nottingham Racing general manager, comments: “We found the R&S Scope Rider invaluable for our testing. Because it’s battery-driven and easily portable, it’s unlike any other scope we’ve used in the past. It also has a wide range of user-friendly functionality.”

The R&S Scope Rider is the first handheld oscilloscope with both the functionality and touch and feel of a state-of-the-art lab oscilloscope. It is optimised for laboratory and in-the-field operations, and has been designed with an easy-to-use interface: one that combines a tablet-like touchscreen, large buttons and a practical multifunction wheel for convenient parameter adjustment – making every function and setting easily accessible, even with gloved hands.

With an acquisition rate of 50,000 waveforms per second, a 10-bit A/D converter developed by Rohde & Schwarz, isolated floating channels and a maximum bandwidth of 500 MHz for the analogue input channels, it outperforms comparable bench instruments.

R&S Scope Rider 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 seven further instrument functions: a logic analyser with eight additional digital channels, a protocol analyser with trigger and decoding capability, a data logger, spectrum and harmonics analysis, frequency counter, and a digital multimeter.

The University of Nottingham superbike has also recently won its class and category at the Pikes Peak International Challenge, and made appearances at MotoE European Championships at Donnington Park and Assen TT in the Netherlands in August 2018.


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