MSc Dissertation: Jason Salkinder


Adobe-PDF-downloadSalkinder, Jason. Design of a Low-Cost High Speed Data Capture Card for the Hubble Sphere Hydrogen Survey. MSc Dissertation. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town, 2008.



This thesis describes the design and implementation of a low-cost high speed data capture card for the Hubble Sphere Hydrogen Survey (HSHS).

The Hubble Space Hydrogen Survey was initiated in an effort to build a low-cost cylindrical radio telescope for an all sky redshift survey with the observational goal to produce a 3-dimensional mapping of the bulk Hubble Sphere using Hydrogen 21cm emissions1.

This dissertation first investigates the system design to see how each of the user specifications set by the planning team in [33] could be achieved in terms of design decisions, component selection and schematic capture. The final design, AstroGIG, satisfies the user specifications by capturing data up to a full power bandwidth of 1.7GHz with an instantaneous bandwidth of <=250MHz while maximizing the dynamic range. AstroGIG buffers, processes, stores and finally transmits the data through a 4-lane PCI-Express interface to a standard PC where the majority of the processing is performed. The system implementation is then described where issues relating to the process of transforming schematics into a physical PCB, and HSHS integration are discussed. The design is verified through Hyperlynx simulations to give a high degree of certainty that physical implementation and production would be successful. Results from tests on the actual hardware characterizing the overall system performance are presented. Conclusions are drawn based on these results and suggestions for future work and design improvements are recommended.



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