Title page for ETD etd-10032008-132029

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Martin, Brian Scott
URN etd-10032008-132029
Title Stream Communication and Computation in the Eight-meter-wavelength Transient Array (ETA) Radio Telescope
Degree Master of Engineering
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Patterson, Cameron D. Committee Chair
Ellingson, Steven W. Committee Member
Simonetti, John H. Committee Member
  • Astronomy
  • Beamforming
  • FPGA
  • configuration
  • Radio
Date of Defense 2008-09-12
Availability unrestricted
The Eight-meter-wavelength Transient Array (ETA) system is a unique implementation of an array-based radio telescope. The instrument is designed to further astronomy by detecting and characterizing dispersed pulses received between 29–47 MHz. To aid data processing of radio signals received through 24 antennas, the ETA system performs real-time stream processing as data is passed from antennas to hard disk storage. The processing includes digital sampling, downconversion, filtering, Fast Fourier Transforms, and beamforming operations and is performed by 28 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) FPGA boards. Sixteen of the FPGA boards constitute the reconfigurable computing cluster (RCC) which performs the FFT and beamforming operations and is the focus of this thesis. The FPGA-based architecture allows the RCC to provide the high computational and communication throughput required by the ETA system. In addition, the FPGA design allows for a custom processing data path, parallel processing, global synchronization, and rapid development at a low cost.
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