Scottish FPGA technology helps Canadians explore Milky Way -

Scottish FPGA technology helps Canadians explore Milky Way

LONDON — A broad-band spectroscopic data acquisition system has been built and deployed for the 26-m radiotelescope of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) in Penticton, Canada is using 3L Ltd.'s Diamond multiprocessor tool-suite and is based on multiprocessing hardware from Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd.

The high sensitivity system developed at DRAO has an instantaneous bandwidth of 500 MHz and a spectral resolution of 2048 channels. The phase relation of the two input signals is measured in real-time and using 3L (Edinburgh, Scotland) Diamond, the instrument design was completed in 18 months.

Radio astronomers in Penticton are using the instrument to investigate the magnetic field in the interstellar medium of our Galaxy. The bandwidth along with spectral capabilities enabled by multiprocessing is allowing them to measure the direction and field strength of the magnetic field of the Milky Way.

Based on Canada's National Research Council (NRC) system, DRAO astronomers are now leading a project to utilize this method with other radiotelescopes around the globe including the 100-m Effelsberg telescope in Germany and the 64-m telescope at the Parkes Observatory in Australia.

For more on the multiprocessor and FPGA technology used see

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