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Proceedings Paper

RASSP signal processing architectures
Author(s): Fred Shirley; Bob Bassett; J. P. Letellier
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Paper Abstract

The rapid prototyping of application specific signal processors (RASSP) program is an ARPA/tri-service effort to dramatically improve the process by which complex digital systems, particularly embedded signal processors, are specified, designed, documented, manufactured, and supported. The domain of embedded signal processing was chosen because it is important to a variety of military and commercial applications as well as for the challenge it presents in terms of complexity and performance demands. The principal effort is being performed by two major contractors, Lockheed Sanders (Nashua, NH) and Martin Marietta (Camden, NJ). For both, improvements in methodology are to be exercised and refined through the performance of individual 'Demonstration' efforts. The Lockheed Sanders' Demonstration effort is to develop an infrared search and track (IRST) processor. In addition, both contractors' results are being measured by a series of externally administered (by Lincoln Labs) six-month Benchmark programs that measure process improvement as a function of time. The first two Benchmark programs are designing and implementing a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) processor. Our demonstration team is using commercially available VME modules from Mercury Computer to assemble a multiprocessor system scalable from one to hundreds of Intel i860 microprocessors. Custom modules for the sensor interface and display driver are also being developed. This system implements either proprietary or Navy owned algorithms to perform the compute-intensive IRST function in real time in an avionics environment. Our Benchmark team is designing custom modules using commercially available processor ship sets, communication submodules, and reconfigurable logic devices. One of the modules contains multiple vector processors optimized for fast Fourier transform processing. Another module is a fiberoptic interface that accepts high-rate input data from the sensors and provides video-rate output data to a display. This paper discusses the impact of simulation on choosing signal processing algorithms and architectures, drawing from the experiences of the Demonstration and Benchmark inter-company teams at Lockhhed Sanders, Motorola, Hughes, and ISX.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 June 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2563, Advanced Signal Processing Algorithms, (7 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.211419
Show Author Affiliations
Fred Shirley, Lockheed Sanders, Inc. (United States)
Bob Bassett, Lockheed Sanders, Inc. (United States)
J. P. Letellier, Naval Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2563:
Advanced Signal Processing Algorithms
Franklin T. Luk, Editor(s)

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