German Google Lunar X PRIZE team uses Altium Designer for their electronics designs
Nuremberg, embedded world – 2 March 2011 – Altium is proud to sponsor the ‘Part-Time Scientists’ in their efforts to win the international $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. The Google Lunar X PRIZE challenge, which aims to foster exploration and innovation in an attempt to make private space flight more viable, requires participating teams to successfully land a robotic rover on the Moon.
Part-Time Scientists is a group of about 70 scientists, engineers, programmers and support staff. Officially located in Berlin, the group actually works together as a virtual team spread around the globe. The sponsorship package includes free licenses for the electronics design tool Altium Designer to cover the electronic design needs of the team, hardware from the NanoBoard 3000 family to quickly explore algorithms in FPGA based embedded systems as well as training to get the electronic design team members up to speed.
"With the ultimate goal of securely soft landing a rover on the moon our team is always working on making the impossible possible,” says Robert Böhme, Core Team Leader for Part-Time Scientists. “So I am exceedingly pleased that we now have the strength and support of Altium and their innovative products for our electronics design team."
“Designing electronics that work in space is no easy task, but Altium Designer allows us to control every minuscule aspect of our PCB. For example, the 3D feature helps us to design the mechanics so that the heat is dissipated correctly. Another feature that is extraordinarily important for reliable electronics is the ability to work in a group and perform reviews, even when the people involved are distributed all over the world and you have competitors eagerly waiting for you to fail,” comments Karsten Becker, who is in charge of the electronics design team. “While most of our designers have not used Altium Designer before, the online training with the guys at Altium got us up to speed in no time. We have already produced several PCBs and are looking forward to designing our next, more challenging PCBs that we need.”
Altium Designer is built on a unified data model allowing a huge step forward from traditional point tools. Smart design data management, FPGA/PCB Co-Design, real 3D PCB design, integrated version control, managed release processes and many more features turn Altium Designer into a powerful platform for innovation.
Development version of a Rover for landing on the moon
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About Part-Time Scientists
The team of currently 70 scientists, engineers, programmers, and supporting personnel officially announced their entry as the 19th team into the Google Lunar X-Prize in June 2009 with the ambitious goal of developing and landing a rover safely on the moon before December 31, 2013. At their time of entry the Part-Time Scientists had two partners; however, in the intervening 18 months they built strong partnerships with over 20 organizations from industry and academia interested in contributing to their mission. In just 12 months, from December 2009 to December 2010, the team presented prototypes for each critical mission component, and thus established itself speedily as one of the competition’s leading teams. In collaboration with universities and other public institutions like the German Aerospace Agency (DLR), the team emphasizes media-savvy high-tech research and development to promote interest and enthusiasm in aerospace technologies and space exploration. For more information, please visit www.part-time-scientists.com/.
About the Google Lunar X-Prize
The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented international competition that challenges and inspires engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. The $30 million prize purse is segmented into a $20 million Grand Prize, a $5 million Second Prize and $5 million in bonus prizes. To win the Grand Prize, a team must successfully soft land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, rove on the lunar surface for a minimum of 500 meters, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to the Earth. The Grand Prize is $20 million until December 31st 2012; thereafter it will drop to $15 million until December 31st 2014 at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation. For more information about the Google Lunar X PRIZE, please visit www.googlelunarxprize.org.
Altium Limited (ASX:ALU) creates electronics design software based on the belief that anyone who wants to create electronic products that make a difference should be able to do so. Altium’s unified electronics design environment links all aspects of electronics product design in a single application that is priced to be as affordable as possible. This helps electronics designers break down barriers to innovation, harness the latest devices and technologies, manage their projects across broad design ‘ecosystems’, and create connected, intelligent designs.
Founded in 1985, Altium has headquarters in Sydney, and operates worldwide. For more information, visit www.altium.com.
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