"The Cascade Demodulator As a Reconfigurable Computer"
Vladimir Glavac and Stephane Belzile
MDA Space Inc.
The Cascade Demodulator is a self-contained unit composed of a high speed digital signal processing board, an RF front end, and an electronic power conditioner, all contained in a modular chassis. Analog samples are taken at 525 MHz and are passed on to a reconfigurable FPGA where the DSP algorithms implement the demodulation process. A high speed serial link sends the demodulated data to a Solid State Mass Memory. The architecture chosen to implement this mission is the result of an evolution in DSP architectures, and has resulted in a general purpose space qualified reconfigurable DSP platform, which can be used for many other applications.
In this paper we shall discuss the following :
The evolution of signal processing systems over the years at MDA, from CPU based systems, to fixed FPGA/ASIC boards, and finally to a general purpose, reconfigurable On-Board Processor
The detailed architecture of a reconfigurable on board DSP processor
A sample mission, the Cascade demodulator
SEU mitigation strategies
Integration of mathematical models with VHDL as part of the general testing process
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