Summary of information related to WP7

November 10, 2010
In this Work Package, the techniques of signal processing using software-defined radio (SDR) receiver systems will be developed to be suitable for parallel processing of signals from a phased array radar. The development will initially be done via laboratory set-ups of hardware and software, followed by a field trial of the developed units, which will establish their reliability and performance.

While the FP6 Design Study produced detailed designs for many parts of the new radar, the system was sufficiently far from construction, and technology advancing so rapidly in many areas, that although the required performance could already be delivered by existing hardware, more capable subsystems were certain to be available before system construction. It was thus appropriate to delay a final choice until the Preparatory Phase, in order to take full advantage of improvements in cost and performance.

The FP6 Design Study suggested a beam-forming and signal processing solution based throughout on the use of custom-built Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) hardware. This can, however be significantly simplified by combining FPGA based sampling and first stages of processing with the use of commercial SDR and off-the-shelf computing in the later stages of processing. Such system set-up would be directly compatible with the multi-purpose codes in WP11 as well as with many other parts of processing, be easier to implement in an operations environment. This approach potentially offers great promise in terms of their performance and flexibility but needs further evaluation before a decision can be made.

Because of the integral connection between hardware and software, this Work Package will be very closely coordinated with WP11 (software theory and implementation). It will also be closely coordinated with the science requirements package (WP3), receiving user requirements from the science community and advising the science users on the constraints imposed by the selected signal processing solution.

This Work Package contains the following activities:

  • Development of FPGA code for the sampler systems.
  • Acquisition of sampling hardware with which to perform the testing.
  • Integration of the sampling hardware with the analog front end hardware.
  • Field-testing and demonstration of the signal processing and beam-forming units.
  • Design of a clock synchronisation system to be used in the EISCAT_3D system.

Deliverables

Deliverable 7.1: Report on proposed implementation of digital signal processing

June 19, 2012
Deliverable 7.1 is a report detailing the techniques of signal processing using a software-defined radio receiver system that is suitable for parallel processing of signals from a phased array radar. The various methods for implementation of the system are assessed: cluster computer approach, the so-called LOFAR method and a futuristic approach, based on the experience gleaned from existing systems and our extrapolation of existing technologies

The lead beneficiary of this Work Package has changed compared to the original plan. This meant that there were some delays in parts of this Work Package, and particularly in the production of this Deliverable.

Deliverable 7.2: Report on the results from the field testing exercise and proof of concept

April 8, 2013
As part of Work Package 7, a number of field demonstration systems were implemented to test signal processing concepts, implementation methods and technology deployments. The three principle systems are:

KAIRA (Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array)

  • the Kiruna Demonstrator Array (and, specifically, the digital beamforming component)
  • the Kilpisjärvi Test System

This Deliverable reports the results from these field tests.

Deliverable 7.3: Prototype signal processing unit

July 3, 2014
This Deliverable is a collation of material indicating the technological readiness of the signal processing systems being proposed and evaluated for EISCAT development for the forthcoming EISCAT 3D project. The head part of this report serves as an introduction for the collected annexes, which contain the component reports.

Deliverable 7.4: Final report summarising the work done in WP7

April 8, 2013
EISCAT 3D will use the incoherent scatter technique to study the atmosphere in the Fenno-Scandinavian Arctic and to investigate how the Earth’s atmosphere is coupled to space. Modern design methodologies advocate a phased array approach, which in turn puts heavy demands on signal processing techniques and technologies.

In this Work Package, the techniques of signal processing using software-defined radio (SDR) receiver systems were developed as a suitable method for parallel processing of signals from a phased array radar. The development was initially done via laboratory set-ups of hardware and software, followed by a field trial of the developed units, which established their reliability and performance.

This report is part of that project and pertains to the Preparatory Phase, which is a transitory phase of the project between the formal design study and implementation/construction. In it, we summarise the work
done on the signal processing work package.

Milestone

Milestone 7.1: Hardware acquired for field-testing

March 5, 2012
Work Package 7 is devoted to signal processing issues for the EISCAT_3D project. In order to be able to perform field-testing of the signal processing techniques using Software-Defined Radio (SDR) receiver systems, a selection of off-the-shelf hardware is acquired.

The acquired field test hardware consists of 38 dual-channel samplers and various kinds of front-ends, and the received hardware constitutes Milestone 7.1.

This Milestone was reached in January 2012.

Milestone 7.2: Completion of preliminary plans for the sampling hardware

June 19, 2012
Work Package 7 is looking at signal processing issues for the EISCAT_3D project. Test hardware was acquired, which constituted Milestone 7.1 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. The completion of the initial development of the firmware for the testing hardware is Milestone 7.2.

This Milestone was reached in April 2012.

Milestone 7.3: Hardware ready for field-testing

June 19, 2012
Work Package 7 is looking at signal processing issues for the EISCAT_3D project. Field testing is performed using the acquired hardware (Milestone 7.1) and the firmware developed for the purpose (Milestone 7.2). Milestone 7.3 is reached when the hardware is ready for this field testing.

The field tests are planned in two different ways:

  1. Using the KAIRA HBA antenna fields, useful as such to demonstrate reception of beam formed radar signals with the Tromsø VHF transmitter.
  2. With the EISCAT_3D test array in Kiruna from the FP6 Design Study.

The first type of tests were only possible when the KAIRA system in Kilpisjärvi was ready. This constitutes Milestone 7.3, and it was reached in April 2012.

Milestone 7.4: Completion of field-testing exercise

April 8, 2013
The field-testing was carried out on the Kiruna Demonstrator Array at the Kiruna EISCAT site in June 2014, as detailed in Deliverable 7.2. The completion of this work constitutes Milestone 7.4.

Milestone 7.5: Prototype signal processing unit ready

July 3, 2014
The prototype signal processing unit was completed in spring 2014 and tested as part of the Kilpisjärvi Test System in June 2014 as detailed in Deliverable 7.2 and Deliverable 7.4.

This Milestone was thus reached in June 2014.

Attachements

Documents related to WP7 can be found in our external library.

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