Electrical Probing with the MiCROW-Pro

Electrical Probing with the MiCROW-Pro

On every fair MiCROW presented its microassembly tool, the MiCROW-Pro, so far, the question arose if a tool for electrical probing was available. Unfortunately, we had to answer that this is still on our Road map of future tools. This future is closing in now as Andre Wolken is supporting us in this task. Andre made part of this tool-development his Bachelor thesis in course of his Electrical Engineering studies.

Now, in the planning phase different specifications and functions are discussed and defined. As one can imagine, the wish list is a long one for this new tool for the MiCROW-Pro: Measure current, voltage or resistance with the largest possible input scale at the best possible resolution – all in an affordable system. These sometimes contradicting features are not easy to realize. That is why Andre’s thesis is concentrating on basic voltage measurement. The input range was therefore decided upon to range from 0 to 5 V while delivering a measurement resolution of approx. 1 mV. Future changes in input range, sensitivity or functionality of the tool should be possible without substantial changes.

This results in loads of – interesting and multifaceted – work for Andre to tackle in his time with MiCROW. Goals are, for example, to realize a low-noise and as lossless as possible measurement, realizing a very precise and stable reference voltage for the analogue to digital conversion, or selecting the most suitable components of the vast amount of possible electrical components. With the goal of measuring millivolts noise is definitely an issue, which also correlates also with cable length.

The measurement itself has to be as simple and intuitive as usual with the MiCROW-Pro. That is why control, measurement, and display/reporting of the measurement has to be implemented into our system and software as well. On the hardware side this requires the design and production of PCBs and on the software side the functionality has to be implemented in our control software and its GUI.

For his clearly delineated Bachelor thesis, Andre has to account for many different physical effects in his practical and functional design approach. Not to mention all other tasks around that, such as documentation. We are looking forward to the measurement head being eventually realized. We are sure that this will become a measurable success.