Pentek, Inc. has just unveiled a new member of its RTS 2500 real-time wideband data acquisition development platform with new playback capabilities
Using the same data-capture front end as the company's popular RTS
2501 but with an additional four D/A channels with two upconverters for playback.
The unit comes preconfigured as a data recording system with a graphical user
interface (GUI) to make the RTS 2502 ready to use out-of-the-box. The RTS
2502 is a fully programmable development platform that targets transceiver
applications such as military radios and commercial wireless base stations.
The combination of data recording and playback capabilities in a single unit
makes the RTS 2502 especially valuable for developers, according to Pentek
vice president Rodger Hosking. "Instead of using simulated signals and
signal analysis tools during system development of radar or communication
systems," said Hosking, "engineers take the RTS system into the field to
capture and generate real-world signals in real time for direct validation
of both signal-processing algorithms and system hardware."
He said that both the recording and playback functions use an industry-standard 2-gigabit Fibre Channel interface to either a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) or just a bunch of disks (JBOD) storage system. "Recording time is
limited only by the size of the hard drives and it easily scales to
different applications," Hosking said.
Pentek's SystemFlow software allows developers to easily customize features, interfaces and operations. The software's modular design includes code for the data acquisition system as well as user control software for the GUI on the host PC. Application program interface (API) library functions are provided with full source code so developers can either modify the example code to meet their needs or use it as a reference for custom software.
Each card in a RTS 2502 system accepts signals through two 14-bit ADCs
running as fast as 105 MHz and passes the signals through digital
downconverters to Virtex-II FPGAs for signal processing and data handling.
The unit can send raw or processed data to a disk array at speeds up to 160
Mbytes/sec for recording, and the unit can also send the data off-board
through front panel data port (FPDP), RACE++ or Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The two playback channels each offer digital upconversion and dual 500-MHz,
16-bit DACs to produce either real or I/Q RF signals, drawing data from the
disk array at up to 160 MB/sec or other I/O as desired. Multiple Virtex-II
FPGAs provide signal processing, formatting and other data manipulation for
the input and output channels.
Pentek supports developers in using the FPGAs with its GateFlow FPGA Design Kit, a package that includes design information, software files, optimized DSP functions and development utilities. Pentek also offers GateFlow IP Cores that include FFTs, wideband and narrowband digital downconverters and a radar pulse compressor.
The RTS 2502 occupies a single 6U VME card, enabling as many as 20 units to
fit into a standard card cage. The unit is highly modular, allowing for 40
input channels and 80 output channels with this configuration. In addition,
with the Model 9190 Clock/Sync Generator, system developers can synchronize
up to 80 I/O modules, each with a common clock and up to five different
timing signals for synchronizing, triggering and gating functions.
SystemFlow software has a modular design that includes API libraries for the
target board as well as user-control libraries for the host PC. Windows
dynamic link library (DLL) calls are written in Visual C++ and a GUI is
provided as a front-end PC host system. The PC host front end communicates
over Ethernet with the royalty-free eCos real-time operating system on the
G4 PowerPC target board, which executes real-time application code.
API libraries for both host and target include full source code, allowing
developers to easily modify both the platform front end and target code to
meet their needs. The software package also includes a data viewer, written
in LabView, that shows display plots of collected data in either time or
frequency domain. Developers can use the viewer to preview data before
storage or to review stored data.
An RTS 2502 base system starts at $29,995 for hardware only and $41,495 with
bundled SystemFlow and GateFlow software. Developers can use one software
suite across multiple hardware platforms. Delivery is eight to 12 weeks ARO.
Upper Saddle River, NJ
201-818-5900, ext. 767