Rohde & Schwarz helps develop electric Superbike for Isle of Man TT Zero race

Rohde & Schwarz has helped the University of Nottingham develop their electric Superbike which took second place in the SES TT Zero race at the Isle of Man TT this summer. The University of Nottingham achieved its highest ever placing at the event, splitting the two factory Mugen bikes, an historic feat never before achieved by a university team.

Rohde & Schwarz provided their handheld oscilloscope the R&S Scope Rider to the University of Nottingham 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 and shaved 1.45 minutes off last year’s lap time and improving 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 a R&S Scope Rider oscilloscope to the University of Nottingham team to be used 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 the functionality and touch and feel of a state‑of‑the‑art lab oscilloscope. It is equally impressive in the lab and in the field. It has been designed with an easy to use interface, combining 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.

A video showcasing Nottingham University on their journey to take part in the most challenging motorcycle race in the world with their latest generation of electric superbike can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/jWueyRW-FJ8

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