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Tektronix to Sponsor Cornell University in DARPA Grand Challenge 2005

Tektronix to Sponsor Cornell University in DARPA Grand Challenge 2005

TPS2024 and TDS3034B Oscilloscopes Assist with Design and Test of Autonomous Off-Road Robotic Vehicle

BEAVERTON, Ore., October 13, 2004 - Tektronix, Inc. (NYSE: TEK), a leading worldwide provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, today announced that it will sponsor a team of Cornell University engineering faculty and students who will build a unique and innovative autonomous off-road robotic vehicle. The Cornell team intends to enter this vehicle in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge for October 2005. Tektronix has donated oscilloscopes and accessories that will empower Cornell's team to design a much more robust robotic system, while reducing the time spent debugging.

The DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 is a competition to develop an autonomous ground vehicle capable of traversing an extended distance of difficult terrain at relatively high speeds. The contest will be held on October 8, 2005 and is a bold effort to draw widespread attention to the technology issues associated with autonomous vehicles and to generate discontinuous breakthroughs in performance. DARPA expects approximately 20 robotic vehicles will attempt to navigate a course of more than 150 miles of rugged desert terrain in the southwest United States. More details about the Challenge can be found at:

Professor Ephrahim Garcia, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell, and the faculty advisor to the team, is thrilled with Tektronix's contribution to the Cornell team. "Tektronix has a long history of leadership and provides excellent test equipment," said Garcia. "With only a year until the next competition, there is not much time to design and test our entry. Cornell will benefit by using the Tektronix oscilloscopes to improve our productivity. With our strong mechanical engineering base and the assistance of sponsors like Tektronix, Cornell Engineering will be in an enhanced position to build a robotic vehicle capable of taking on this difficult challenge."

The DARPA Grand Challenge is a congressionally mandated program that expressly authorizes DARPA to conduct contests and award prizes for advancements in vital technologies. In the 2001 Defense Authorization Act, Congress set a goal that one-third of operational ground combat vehicles will be unmanned by 2015.

To date, no team has been able to successfully complete this challenge. The first Grand Challenge was held in the Mojave Desert on March 13, 2004. Teams were charged with completing a 142-mile course stretching from Barstow, Calif. to Primm, Nev. in less than 10 hours. Over 100 teams applied but only 15 were chosen to compete following qualification rounds and safety inspections. The most successful team crossed 7.4 miles before becoming incapacitated by a boulder.

"This is a major challenge and one of considerable importance," said Bob Bluhm, General Manager, Value Oscilloscope Product Line, Tektronix. "None of the entrants in the 2004 Challenge were able to finish the course. Though valuable lessons were learned last year, we hope that this year will prove more successful and are proud to help the Cornell University engineering team with its endeavor."

About the TPS2000

The TPS2000 Series Digital Storage Oscilloscopes (DSOs) are designed to improve the productivity of designers and technicians requiring a powerful, general-purpose oscilloscope in a compact, portable package. They are the first full-featured, four-isolated-channel, battery-powered oscilloscopes providing an accomplished measurement tool equally adept in the lab or in the field.

About the TDS3000B

The TDS3000B Series of Digital Phosphor Oscilloscopes (DPOs) provide power technology, WaveAlert™ automatic anomaly detection, OpenChoice™ documentation and analysis solutions with e*Scope® web-based remote control, and five application-specific modules into a lightweight, battery-capable design. DPO technology delivers superior insight into complex signals with the ability to display, store, and analyze three dimensions of signal information in real-time: amplitude, time, and distribution of amplitude over time. DPO helps customers to reduce debug time by rapidly locating and characterizing waveform anomalies that can be elusive on traditional oscilloscopes.


DARPA is the central research and development (R&D) agency in the Department of Defense (DoD) and has pioneered major technology breakthroughs such as the Internet, Stealth aircraft, smart bombs, and the pilot-less Predator aircraft. DARPA maintains a distinguished reputation among leaders in the technology, science, and academic communities.

About Tektronix

Tektronix, Inc. is a test, measurement, and monitoring company providing measurement solutions to the communications, computer, and semiconductor industries worldwide. With more than 55 years of experience, Tektronix enables its customers to design, build, deploy, and manage next-generation global communications networks and advanced technologies. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix has operations in 19 countries worldwide. Tektronix' Web address is

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Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc. All other trade names referenced are the service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.