Mar 3, 2011

Altium sponsors 'Part-Time Scientists' on their way to the moon

German Google Lunar X PRIZE team uses Altium Designer for their electronics designs.

Nuremberg – Altium is sponsoring 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.