Aeroscope: Wireless Oscilloscope Probe
A wireless, ultra-portable oscilloscope with impressive specs – debug circuits in their natural environment.
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“it’s also extremely portable, so it appears to be ideal to take measurements on the field.”
Small, Portable, Powerful
Aeroscope is a wireless oscilloscope probe that pairs to a user’s tablet or phone. It was designed with both portability and performance in mind. Aeroscope crams an impressive amount of measurement power into a small package. It includes a rechargeable battery for a typical full day of measurements, and a wireless range of up to 200 feet.
Aeroscope is small enough that it can be embedded inside of mobile systems. This opens up new measurement possibilities for anyone working in fields like robotics or drones. Measure the power draw of your robot as it is driving around, in real-time. Debug your autonomous vehicle in the field from a safe distance away. You can even monitor signals on your drone while it is in flight.
In addition to Aeroscope’s embeddability, its small size and battery power makes it perfect for bringing into the field – no more lugging heavy test equipment or searching for AC outlets. Easily bring your oscilloscope with you to even the most remote locations.
It is a great fit for anyone who is space constrained. The small size allows users to work on electronics wherever they like – a small apartment, a coffee shop, a brewery, or even on the beach.
Since Aeroscope is wireless, it is fully isolated from mains ground. This means that you can ground Aeroscope wherever you like and you don’t have to worry about damaging it or shorting out your circuit. This comes in handy when probing things like switch mode power supply switching nodes.
Aeroscope is the perfect tool for probing on a whim, drones, robots, remote installations, off-grid locations, enclosed systems, and automotive work.
Features & Specifications
- Analog Bandwidth: 100 MHz
- Sample Rate: 500 M samples/second
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 with 200-ft range
- Input Range: +/-40 V
- DC Accuracy: +/- 3%
- Offset Range: +/- 40V*
- Sample Memory Depth: 10k
- Input Impedance: 10MΩ || 12pF
- Resolution: 20 mV/division to 10 V/division
- Compatibility: IOS (Android coming soon), both open source
- All day battery life: 4-8 hours depending on settings
- Activity sensor: (for extended use)
- Dimensions: 20 mm x 30 mm x 118 mm
- Weight: 50 g
*+/- 20V offset for 20mV/div setting
Interactive 3D Model
This model is also hosted at autodesk360.com.
Aeroscope’s app and protocol will be completely open source. Use our app or write your own for whatever unique application you have.
Screenshot of the Aeroscope app in action.
- Compatible with iOS 9 devices that support Bluetooth 4.1 (iPhone 4S and later, iPad 3 and later, iPod touch 5th generation and later, iPad mini, and iPad pro)
- Android support for select devices June 2017
- Touch Gesture support for offset, trigger delay, horizontal and vertical scales
- Trigger Control (Rising Edge, Falling Edge, Any Edge)
- Measurements – amplitude (Vpp, Vrms), frequency, average voltage
- Open Source
|Wireless||Analog Voltage Range (V)||Analog Voltage Resolution (per division)||Analog BW (Mhz)||Analog Sample Rate per Channel (MSPS)||Number of Analog Channels||Record Length||Battery Powered Run Time||Price (USD)|
|Aeroscope||Yes||-40 to +40||20mV – 10V||100||500||1||10k||4-8||From $259|
|Tektronix: TDS2012C||No||300 Vrms||20mV – 50V||100||1000||2||2.5k||N/A||$1,460|
|Keysight: U1610A||No||600 Vrms||20mV – 500V||100||500||2||60k||3||$3,174|
|Rigol: DS1104Z||No||300 Vrms||10mV – 100V||100||250||4||12M||N/A||$830|
|PicoScope: PicoScope210||No||-20 to +20||100mV – 20V||25||100||1||24k||N/A||$299|
|LabNation: LabNation||No||-35 to +35||20mV – 10V||30||100||2||4M||N/A||$229|
|Oscium: iMSO-240L||No||-40 to +40||500mV – 20V||5||50||2||1k||N/A||$400|
|Saleae: Logic Pro 8||No||-10 to +10||Fixed Gain 12bit ADC||5||50||8||User Mem||N/A||$479|
We have been working with a US-based manufacturer that will produce Aeroscope. This manufacturer has over 30 years of experience in low to high volume electronics manufacturing. We have traveled to their Wisconsin based plant and feel confident that they will be a great partner to help bring Aeroscope to market.
We plan to ship all backer rewards by December 15, 2016. There will be no shipping charge for US addresses. We will be charging shipping for international orders.
Risks & Challenges
We have been working on Aeroscope for the last two years and have reduced most of the technical risk associated with the product. In addition, we have taken steps to reduce our manufacturing risk. We engaged early on with a contract manufacturer to review our build/test plan and solicit feedback. We have pre-tested our product for radiated emissions and ESD compliance in a test lab to prepare for our formal compliance testing. Lastly, we have had consulting engineers review our mechanical design for manufacturability and robustness.
The Aeroscope team has a combined 20 years of experience bringing new products to market and are confident that they can handle any challenges that may arise. However, bringing a new product to market always includes some risk. There is uncertainty associated with compliance testing of devices, especially when shipping to both Europe and North America. There could be unforeseen delays with vendors, quality assurance, or part shortages. We have built margin into our schedule to allow for these unforeseen delays and will let our backers know if there are any problems that will affect the ship date.
Q: How is it possible to operate a high sample rate oscilloscope over Bluetooth data rates?
A: Aeroscope is able to operate over Bluetooth data rates because the “guts” of the oscilloscope all reside within the probe itself. The analog section, ADC, and memory are all located inside the Aeroscope probe. We are only using the BT link to display the video frames of the data that Aeroscope has captured. Like other oscilloscopes, data is not streamed continuously from the ADC to the display (phone or tablet in this case). The step by step process is this: Aeroscope captures enough data for a video frame at 500 MSPS, this data is stored in a memory buffer, the frame data is then read from memory, and sent over the BT link to be displayed on the user’s device. This process happens repeatedly as long as the capture section receives a valid trigger.
Q: What is an oscilloscope?
A: An oscilloscope is an instrument to visualize electrical signals. Humans can’t perceive electricity the way we can perceive physical things. A mechanic can generally look at and feel an automotive component to check for problems, but electrical systems are more elusive. Electrical engineers need tools to help diagnose problems with electronics. Much like how doctors use EKG machines to analyze the heart’s electrical signals and make diagnoses, electrical engineers and technicians use oscilloscopes to visualize the electrical signals inside electronics to find bugs and other faults.
Q: How is an oscilloscope different than a multimeter?
A: The first difference is what is measured. Oscilloscopes typically only measure voltage whereas multimeters also measure current and resistance. But, the biggest difference is the time scale of measurement. An oscilloscope can be compared to a high-speed movie camera while a multimeter would be more similar to a conventional movie camera. With a multimeter, you can only make measurements at the rate that you can perceive numbers on a screen. An oscilloscope like Aeroscope makes voltage measurements at 500 million times per second and gives you insight into what is happening at time scales much smaller than humans can perceive. With today’s high speed electronics, this insight is often necessary to figure out what is wrong with a circuit.
Q: Why is analog bandwidth important?
A: In addition to sample rate, analog bandwidth is a key spec for oscilloscopes. It represents the limit of the maximum frequency sine wave that the scope can capture. However, it isn’t just for sine waves. With today’s high speed electronics and digital signals, analog bandwidth is more important than ever for general signal accuracy. Square waves (such as digital signals) are made up of many harmonics (or multiples) of the fundamental frequency. A rule of thumb for accurately measuring a square wave is to capture frequencies up to the fifth harmonic. With Aeroscope’s 100 MHz bandwidth, you can accurately measure square waves up to 20 MHz.
Q: Does Aeroscope support multiple channels?
A: Aeroscope is a single channel oscilloscope. We plan to add support for a second channel in June 2017. This feature will allow you to sync two Aeroscopes together with a special USB sync cable. Once synced, this will give you two time-synchronized channels at 500 MSPS each. Aeroscope ships with hardware support for this feature, but some software work remains. This feature will be enabled with an over-the-air firmware update.
Q: Is Aeroscope appropriate for new users / education?
A: Yes! We have made Aeroscope attractive for professionals while still making it easy to use. Our app’s interface and touch screen gestures are intuitive for today’s smartphone generation. One can imagine how useful it is for a class to view an instructor’s oscilloscope on a large display during a lecture using AppleTV. Also, since the interface is an open source app, custom versions can be written to specifically target an educational audience.
Jonathan Ward has always had a passion for measurement tools and equipment. He started his career at Agilent Technologies (now Keysight) designing high-performance spectrum analyzers. Most recently, Jonathan has developed high-volume consumer electronics and portable chemical analysis equipment in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to his decade of industry experience, he holds a MS in electrical engineering from Columbia University and a BSEE from Case Western Reserve University.
Alexander has been working in the industrial and consumer electronics industries for the past 10 years. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a MSEE from Colorado State University. He began his career at Agilent Technologies (now Keysight) as a production engineer for spectrum analyzers. He has been a key member of many product development teams ranging from high volume consumer electronics to high-end test and measurement equipment and one off precision instruments for satellite operation. Alexander spends his free time with his wife and two dogs or climbing rocks in the Colorado front range.