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PicoScope® PC-OSCILLOSCOPES FLEXIBLE RESOLUTION OSCILLOSCOPE The 5000 Series has: High speed and high resolution, breakthrough ADC technology switches from 8 to 16 bits in the same oscilloscope. PicoScope 5442A 5442B 5443A 5443B 5444A 444B Channels 4 4 4 Bandwidth All modes: 60 MHz 8 to 15-bit modes: 100 MHz 16-bit mode: 60 MHz 8 to 15-bit modes: 200 MHz 16-bit mode: 60 MHz Sampling rate - real time 2.5 GS/s 5 GS/s 10 GS/s Buffer memory (8-bit) * 16 MS 32 MS 64 MS 128 MS 256 MS 512 MS Buffer memory (≥ 12-bit)* 8 MS 16 MS 32 MS 64 MS 128 MS 256 MS Resolution (enhanced)** 8 bits, 12 bits, 14 bits, 15 bits, 16 bits (hardware resolution + 4 bits) Signal Generator Function generator AWG Function generator AWG Function generator AWG Price from £949 ¤1566 $1148 2 Channel models also available * Shared between active channels ** Maximum resolution is limited on the lowest voltage ranges: ±10 mV = 8 bits • ±20 mV = 12 bits. All other ranges can use full resolution. WORLD’S FIRST USB 3.0 OSCILLOSCOPE PicoScope 3207A 3207B Channels 2 Bandwidth 250 MHz Sampling 1 GS/s Memory 256 MS 512 MS Signal Generator Function generator AWG Price from £1099 ¤1813 $1330 ALL MODELS INCLUDE PROBES, FULL SOFTWARE AND 5 YEAR WARRANTY. SOFTWARE INCLUDES MEASUREMENTS, SPECTRUM ANALYZER, SDK, ADVANCED TRIGGERS, COLOR PERSISTENCE, SERIAL DECODING (CAN, LIN, RS232, I²C, I²S, FLEXRAY, SPI), MASKS, MATH CHANNELS, ALL AS STANDARD, WITH FREE UPDATES. www.picotech.com/PS254 RFID antennas embedded into fibre composites By Julien Happich Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits II S have now found a way to embed RFID antennas into fibre composites. As a result, the technology also works with carbon and glass fibres, making them suitable for use into airplane components for closer reporting and tracking during their manufacture. The fibre composites parts can communicate with skilled workers in their vicinity, providing part number information, but also monitoring the entire manufacturing chain (who has worked on them, what is the next work step). Measuring only a few square millimetres, an RFID chip transmits the information and details about the component under fabrication. The challenge at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits II S in Nuremburg was to develop an RFID transponder whose antenna works reliably on fibre composites. Components such as glass or carbon fibres are both lightweight and robust, and are thus used increasingly in airplane and vehicle production. However, these fibres have a particularly strong influence on frequencies. Until now, their exact behaviour with regard to RFID had not been well understood on the wireless system, and this is why production steps are still documented with a pencil and paper. “We took a close look at the frequencies relevant to RFID technology: 125 kHz (LF: low frequency), 13.56 MHz (HF: high frequency), and 868 MHz (UHF: ultra high frequency). We measured the extent to which glass and carbon fibres affect the reliability of the transponder,” says Tobias Dräger, an engineer, in describing the work of the II S team. The result: while LF, HF, and UHF work well with glass fibres, they showed weaknesses with carbon fibres. The high frequencies in particular compromised the performance of the RFID chip significantly. “Carbon fibres are, similarly to metal, conductive. As a result, they dampen radio signals considerably– especially at 868 MHz,” says Dräger’s colleague Dr. Iker Mayordomo. But thanks to their relatively large range of up to 15 meters, UHF frequencies are very well suited to applications in logistics and production. In the past, if RFID was used with incompatible materials such as metals, a very expensive transponder was required to reach this level of performance. “The antennas and transponders required make these customized systems very large. At the same time, integrating them into fibre composites is difficult,” says Dräger in discussing the initial situation. Together with partners from the aviation industry and research, his team has successfully developed a transponder that can operate reliably within conducting components, which are also subject to physical stress. The scientists have designed an ultra-thin antenna that can be embedded in materials underneath a protective glass fibre layer. Together with Schreiner LogiData, a manufacturer of RFID transponders, II S has already developed the first test series. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2013 19


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