Digital & Embedded Signal Processing

The Digital and Embedded Signal processing group is concerned with the development of digital (sub) systems for radio astronomy applications. The required DESP competences are in the field of digital embedded signal processing: design and development of DSP systems, chip design, signal integrity studies, algorithms and modeling.

The mid-term (4 years) and long-term (12 years) aim of the DESP group is to develop advanced digital signal processing (DSP) systems for the next generation of radio telescopes. Having developed DSP systems for the LOFAR telescope in the Netherlands, our current focus is on technological developments for the SKA telescope and its pathfinders.

LOFAR and previous project systems were developed specifically tailored to the application. Currently we are developing digital systems which can be used for multiple application by exploiting the commonalties in the systems we develop. Our long-term goal is to have digital systems already on the shelf before applications are asking for it. In this way we try to improve the turnaround time of projects and stay ahead of what is required by the applications. From application drive design to platform driven design.

In order to facilitate this approach more, we constantly try to improve our design methodology such that we can re-use firmware and work over multiple generations of platforms by adopting modular design and automatic code generation.

UniBoard and UniBoard2 

A result of the strategy described above is the UniBoard. The UniBoard system will be used in various applications, amongst them are a beamformer and correlator in APERTIF, a correlator for JIVE, digital receiver and pulsar binning machine.

The next generation of processing boards are currently in development: UniBoard2. The ambition is to integrate half of the capacity of a UniBoard to one chip for the UniBoard2 (or more if technology is available for that.

 

The team
The following professionals are working in the DESP team:

ir. André Gunst - Competence Group Leader

dr.ir. Mark Bentum - Senior Researcher

ir. Eric Kooistra - System Engineer

ing. Harm-Jan Pepping - Design Engineer

ing. Gijs Schoonderbeek - Instrument Engineer

ir. Ronald de Wild - Instrument Engineer

Sjouke Zwier -  Design Engineer

Raj Thilak Rajan - Researcher

Daniël van der Schuur - Design Engineer

Leon Hiemstra - Design Engineer

 

Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2014 ASTRON