Tag Archives: hardware

Contract Award: Medical Imaging Radar

November 8, 2022 – For the first time ever, WSR will be applying our remote sensing capabilities in the medical field. We were recently awarded a contract to design and prototype a digital subsystem for a novel medical device. Unfortunately, we can’t disclose much more than that at the request of our confidential customer, but it’s exciting to use our digital radar tech in new and interesting ways! 

Also, this picture is just a stock photo and has nothing to do with what we’re building ūüôā

Program Update: NASA DSI PDR Passed

We’re excited to have passed the preliminary design review (PDR) milestone in our work developing the digital subsystem to run¬†Aloft Sensing, Inc.‘s embedded PNT algorithm. Now it’s time to start implementing!

In phase 1, we’ll build out the signal processing FPGA firmware, validating it first through simulation and then running on evaluation hardware. After that, we’ll design custom hardware.

This effort is funded under NASA’s Decadal Survey Incubator (DSI) Program with the overall objective of developing, implementing, and demonstrating a hardware module that captures and digitally processes radar pulses to establish the precise relative positioning and timing of a sensor within a distributed sensing architecture such that coherent image alignment for interferometrics can readily occur and high-quality products can be achieved.

You can learn more about the objectives in the award announcement from NASA and by following our partner in the program Aloft Sensing.

Delivery: JPL CRISTAL/CIMR Digital Backend Design

October 24, 2022 – Design review passed and final delivery released to JPL for the multi-mission (CRISTAL & CIMR) digital back-end (DBE) engineering model hardware.

This compact module, destined for space flight, carries an FPGA, two high performance ADCs, a standalone processor and a full compliment of memories and interfaces.

It was a pleasure working with¬†Kayla Nguyen¬†and¬†Robert Jarnot¬†on the program. We’re looking forward to working together again in the future!

Program Update: CRISTAL/CIMR DBE Schematics

September 6, 2022 – Customer schematic review passed! This particular design is for a space-based radiometer digital backend. The hardware contains four 3.2 GSPS ADC channels, JESD interfaces linking the ADCs to an FPGA, Xilinx’s Kintex KU060, microprocessor, telemetry, spacecraft/instrument interfaces and a full complement of support components.

This design is our second centered around the KU060 targeting Class D missions, though this particular unit has been designed to also serve higher mission classes when greater reliability is needed.

Now on to layout…

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.


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


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


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.


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


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

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.”