A scalable packetised radio astronomy imager

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Inggs, Michael en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Manley, Jason Ryan en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-12-04T17:59:44Z
dc.date.available 2015-12-04T17:59:44Z
dc.date.issued 2015 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Manley, J. 2015. A scalable packetised radio astronomy imager. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15573
dc.description Includes bibliographical references en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Modern radio astronomy telescopes the world over require digital back-ends. The complexity of these systems depends on many site-specific factors, including the number of antennas, beams and frequency channels and the bandwidth to be processed. With the increasing popularity for ever larger interferometric arrays, the processing requirements for these back-ends have increased significantly. While the techniques for building these back-ends are well understood, every installation typically still takes many years to develop as the instruments use highly specialised, custom hardware in order to cope with the demanding engineering requirements. Modern technology has enabled reprogrammable FPGA-based processing boards, together with packet-based switching techniques, to perform all the digital signal processing requirements of a modern radio telescope array. The various instruments used by radio telescopes are functionally very different, but the component operations remain remarkably similar and many share core functionalities. Generic processing platforms are thus able to share signal processing libraries and can acquire different personalities to perform different functions simply by reprogramming them and rerouting the data appropriately. Furthermore, Ethernet-based packet-switched networks are highly flexible and scalable, enabling the same instrument design to be scaled to larger installations simply by adding additional processing nodes and larger network switches. The ability of a packetised network to transfer data to arbitrary processing nodes, along with these nodes' reconfigurability, allows for unrestrained partitioning of designs and resource allocation. This thesis describes the design and construction of the first working radio astronomy imaging instrument hosted on Ethernet-interconnected re- programmable FPGA hardware. I attempt to establish an optimal packetised architecture for the most popular instruments with particular attention to the core array functions of correlation and beamforming. Emphasis is placed on requirements for South Africa's MeerKAT array. A demonstration system is constructed and deployed on the KAT-7 array, MeerKAT's prototype. This research promises reduced instrument development time, lower costs, improved reliability and closer collaboration between telescope design teams. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Electrical Engineering en_ZA
dc.title A scalable packetised radio astronomy imager en_ZA
dc.type Doctoral Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
dc.publisher.department Department of Electrical Engineering en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Manley, J. R. (2015). <i>A scalable packetised radio astronomy imager</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,Department of Electrical Engineering. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15573 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Manley, Jason Ryan. <i>"A scalable packetised radio astronomy imager."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,Department of Electrical Engineering, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15573 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Manley JR. A scalable packetised radio astronomy imager. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,Department of Electrical Engineering, 2015 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15573 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Manley, Jason Ryan AB - Modern radio astronomy telescopes the world over require digital back-ends. The complexity of these systems depends on many site-specific factors, including the number of antennas, beams and frequency channels and the bandwidth to be processed. With the increasing popularity for ever larger interferometric arrays, the processing requirements for these back-ends have increased significantly. While the techniques for building these back-ends are well understood, every installation typically still takes many years to develop as the instruments use highly specialised, custom hardware in order to cope with the demanding engineering requirements. Modern technology has enabled reprogrammable FPGA-based processing boards, together with packet-based switching techniques, to perform all the digital signal processing requirements of a modern radio telescope array. The various instruments used by radio telescopes are functionally very different, but the component operations remain remarkably similar and many share core functionalities. Generic processing platforms are thus able to share signal processing libraries and can acquire different personalities to perform different functions simply by reprogramming them and rerouting the data appropriately. Furthermore, Ethernet-based packet-switched networks are highly flexible and scalable, enabling the same instrument design to be scaled to larger installations simply by adding additional processing nodes and larger network switches. The ability of a packetised network to transfer data to arbitrary processing nodes, along with these nodes' reconfigurability, allows for unrestrained partitioning of designs and resource allocation. This thesis describes the design and construction of the first working radio astronomy imaging instrument hosted on Ethernet-interconnected re- programmable FPGA hardware. I attempt to establish an optimal packetised architecture for the most popular instruments with particular attention to the core array functions of correlation and beamforming. Emphasis is placed on requirements for South Africa's MeerKAT array. A demonstration system is constructed and deployed on the KAT-7 array, MeerKAT's prototype. This research promises reduced instrument development time, lower costs, improved reliability and closer collaboration between telescope design teams. DA - 2015 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2015 T1 - A scalable packetised radio astronomy imager TI - A scalable packetised radio astronomy imager UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15573 ER - en_ZA


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