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Proceedings Paper

DARTS: a low-cost high-performance FPGA implemented real-time control platform for adaptive optics
Author(s): S. J. Goodsell; N. A. Dipper; D. Geng; R. M. Myers; C. D. Saunter
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Paper Abstract

Durham University's Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) are currently producing a generic high-performance low-cost real-time control system (RTCS) for adaptive optics (AO) based on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology. This platform, labelled DARTS, 'Durham Adaptive optics Real Time System', will primarily be used as the controller for Durham's enhanced Rayleigh Technical Demonstrator (RTD) system. However, DARTS could be used as a low latency control system for existing AO instruments or could be used for future 'budget' AO Natural Guide Star (NGS) and/or Laser Guide Star (LGS) RTCS. DARTS uses an FPGA device to host an end-to-end modular real-time AO pipeline connected to a Wishbone control bus. The FPGA takes advantage of the pipeline's highly parallel computationally intensive tasks which usually are calculated in series by a system processor. DARTS hopes to increase the obtainable control loop frequency and reduce the computational latency of the RTD's RTCS. DARTS is capable of high bandwidth I/O due to the implementation of the serial Front Panel Data Port (sFPDP) industrial protocol. The hardware's I/O design is modular, allowing for the future connection of various WFSs and DMs via signal converters. Various communications architectures are suggested to allow non real-time configuration and visualisation data to flow between the wishbone control bus and a processing device, either externally or internally to the FPGA device. This paper reveals the current status of the project.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5903, Astronomical Adaptive Optics Systems and Applications II, 59030E (25 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.617791
Show Author Affiliations
S. J. Goodsell, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
N. A. Dipper, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
D. Geng, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
R. M. Myers, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
C. D. Saunter, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5903:
Astronomical Adaptive Optics Systems and Applications II
Robert K. Tyson; Michael Lloyd-Hart, Editor(s)

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