Tag Archives: firmware

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