All posts by bheavey

FPGA-Based Digital Subsystem & Multi-Channel Transceiver

The Job: Wide Swath Research, LLC was awarded a contract to design, manufacture and deliver a digital subsystem for the Gas and Ice Spectrometer Radar (GAISR) program led by Dr. Ken Cooper of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  This 10 month contract included hardware, firmware and software development.

This was a custom development from the ground up, created to the specifications provided by JPL and optimized to minimize package footprint and power consumption, to use parts compatible with the demands for a future space flight revision and to accommodate their pre-existing digital signal processing payload.

Hardware

The digital subsystem is an FPGA-based, multi-channel data conversion and processing unit controlled via PC.  The hardware block diagram and picture of the final delivery is shown below.

Digital Subsystem Block Diagram
Digital Subsytem

Firmware

The firmware interfaced with the desktop software and controlled all onboard hardware including: arbitrary waveform transmission, buffering ADC data, high speed ethernet communication and user defined general purpose i/o.  All hooks were provided for the customer to plug their DSP payload. A high level block diagram of the firmware is provided below.

Firmware Block Diagram

Software

The software was a cross platform suite of tools for digital subsystem control, real time data recording and a heads up display of recorded data.  The software also provided a scripting engine for repeatability of complex configurations.

Screenshot of Desktop Software

Select Publications Featuring the GAISR Program

FPGA-Based Phased Array Controller

The Job: Wide Swath Research, LLC was awarded a contract to design, manufacture and deliver a digital subsystem for the 3CPR cloud precipitation radar program led by Dr. Mauricio Sanchez of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Hardware

This FPGA-based subsystem provided timing, control and power to Ku-band phased array modules, collected telemetry and was designed to interface with the customer’s legacy desktop control system.

Digital Subsystem

Firmware

The firmware facilitated beam table loading as well as command and control via desktop software to precisely configure and control the customer’s phased array modules.

Firmware Block Diagram
Timing Example

Select Publications Featuring the 3CPR Program

Django Development on an iPad Pro

I don’t write a lot of code. But I used to and I miss it. So I decided to kick off a side project to compliment some of my non-software work.

Incidentally, I also picked up the latest iPad Pro and thought it’d be a fun challenge to see if I could stand up a django environment on it for local development.

Luckily, many others have blazed a trail for django on iPad. Actually, it’s damn near a highway now. But, I found many of the write-ups incomplete for my needs. So, I figured I’d create my own post outlining how I got it all working. Oh, did I forget to mention I got it working 😉 Here’s a screenshot to prove it.

Continue reading Django Development on an iPad Pro

Pulse Fitness – SoC Board

Job: Board design of an operator console for exercise equipment designed around a system-on-chip (SoC) component with microprocessor and numerous audio and video capabilities. This job required interfacing the SoC with various onboard, high-speed components and the design of a power subsystem.  Final delivery included: schematics, Gerber layout files for pcb fabrication and bill-of-materials for final board population.

Customer Feedback: “Very competent, competitive bid, delivered what was required on time to a high standard and without any fuss. Generally a great guy to work with.”

AngioDynamics Concept

Job: AngioDynamics contracted Wide Swath Research, LLC to design an FPGA-based, micro controller equipped board to as a part of an ongoing medical device program they were pursuing.

Customer Feedback: Brandon is a true professional–and I am 100% happy with his work–and I look forward to doing further business with him! Thank you, Brandon, for your excellent work!!”

Lodex Transceiver

The Job:  Lodex Engineering contracted Wide Swath Research, LLC to develop a software defined transceiver for their new state-of-the-art, multi-channel radar system employing advanced onboard processing.  The contract included system design, geophysical modeling, hardware design, firmware design and system engineering support.

The deliverables:  board schematics, pcb layout files, tested / verified hardware, FPGA firmware and Matlab code for data analysis and geophysical modeling.

Customer Feedback: “We cannot thank you enough for the excellent job you did with the T/R’s. It is without question your high-caliber expertise that led to the successful and timely development of our system. We were incredibly fortunate to have you be a part of our team and are eager to approach you again for our next project.

Besides your impressive work, you were a pleasure to work with.  Getting the T/R up and running with unprecedented efficiency and without ‘show stoppers’ further demonstrated your outstanding work.

Our sincerest thanks for what you provided us and we look forward to working with you again soon.”