CERN Trajectory Measurement System
This project was carried out with
Alpha Data Ltd
and involved the design, construction,
commissioning, support and maintenance of a new trajectory measurement system for the
Proton Synchrotron. The FPGA based system consists of 120 analogue signal
acquisition channels, followed by FPGA based digital signal processing to derive
the positions of the particle bunches undergoing acceleration in the
The system continuously samples 120 Analogue channels at 125MHz, 14
bits and processes this data in real-time to determine information on
the position of particle bunches as they orbit at around 437kHz. The
system captures and processes 15 billion samples per second. Multiple
Xilinx Vertex 4 FPGA's are employed in a modular system to capture and
process the data. The system is controlled over a Gigabit Ethernet
network from which portions of the resulting data can be accessed.
More information is at: TmsOverview and http://portal.beam.ltd.uk/support/cern/
Blacknest Data System
is an organisation that collects and and analyses Terabytes of seismic
sensor data. This data is collected from a variety of locations and in
differing formats. Beam have developed a solution for the data ingest,
storage and subsequent user access of this data. The system supports
web and email access to the data. A documented API enables Blacknest
scientists to develop customised applications.
Lifestream Video Conferencing System
Developed for a specific medical application of remote data and Video viewing, this project involved the development of
a special purpose packet switched backplane system based on Gigabit Ethernet.
We developed a cost sensitive Ethernet based backplane system, a
Gigabit switch card together with ancillary cards for the mounting of a
custom video compression card and redundant power supplies. Three and
five slot variants of the backplane were produced.
Our customer had approximately 7000 degrading 24 track 1" data tapes containing
valuble historic seismic data.
We developed a system to extract and save the data from these tapes.
This Linux based system uses Digital Acquisition (DAQ)
cards with the open source COMEDI DAQ interface to capture and process in real time
the analogue data from the 24 analogue tape tracks. FM decoding of the
tracks is perfomed in real-time using FIR and IIR filters together with a
Hilbert transform based FM Demodulator. The resulting digitised seismic
data is stored on disk and can be written to DVD. The whole system is
controlled with an easy to use GUI interface. In addition to the software
design and development we designed and produced the analogue,
front-end, tape head amplifiers and anti-aliasing filters for the
Linux Device Drivers
Beam have developed a number of Linux Devices Drivers. Details can be found on our
Open Source Drivers page.
The WrpServer system was designed to record and
allow the playback of Wideband Radio IF signal channels obtained from a
set of DdcServers. The WrpServer employs a set of Giga-bit Ethernet
ports and an array of SCSI disks in
a RAID configuration in order to record the Wideband IF signal
channels in real-time. The overall maximum data rate processed by the
system is about 48 MBytes per second when recording 8 Wideband IF channels.
The DdcServer is a part of a software
radio system developed for Procitec that processes, in real-time, a digital broadband
radio IF input signal with a bandwidth of between 200KHz and 2 MHz coming from a RF
receiver via a Fibre FPDP interface. The input signal is transformed into narrow band channels
(20 kHz) by digital down converting (DDC) using FPGA technology. Each
channel can be used and programmed independently with the possibility
of overlapping channels. The result consists of 150 narrow band
channels which can accessed by remote systems though a Gigabit Ethernet
interface. The overall data rate processed by the system is
about 24 MBytes per second. The system was
implemented using the Linux OS as a network managed 19inch rack unit.
The CacheServer is a Video cache server
for use in TV broadcasting environments. Quantel produce a broadcast
quality Video processing system called Quentin.
This system consists of a number of Video Servers with video and audio
clips distributed across them. The servers have the video both at broadcast
resolution, 25 Mbit, and at 1.5 Mbit MPEG.
In use, for example, in a busy newsroom, a large number of journalists
have the ability to view the video data using the Quantel Qview
application from Microsoft Windows based Edit workstations:
the machines upon which they type their copy, read email and so on.
The CacheServer was designed and developed by BEAM to act as a cache
for the Video servers video information. It
operates as a classic read-only cache of Video Data Thunks (The basic
accepting requests for Thunks from the multiple journalist's machines,
forwarding these requests to the Video servers if it cannot satisfy them itself,
and storing them (in RAM and on disk) for future use in a strictly "most
recently used" manner. The system was implemented using the Linux OS as a
network managed 19inch rack unit.
Camserve - Covert CCTV camera DVR with WiFi and G3 Interface
Employing the latest Video compression techniques (H.264 and
MPEG4) the Camserve unit is a small, low power, DVR with WiFi and
G3 interfaces for use in Covert CCTV applications as well as standard
(More info ...)
The AstroFFT Digital Spectrometer System was designed to pick out coherent signals
from large levels of noise. One example of use is to survey the Galaxy searching for maser emission from water both in
star-forming regions and in the circumstellar envelopes of late-type stars.
The system processes, in real time, multiple wide bandwidth
(23MHz) analogue signals from a radio telescope. The system employs the
Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to calculate the spectrum of the signals
and integrates the power of this spectrum over time.
The AstroFFT system consists of a network accessible host containing
multiple FFT processing engines. Each processing engine has two, fast,
analogue to digital converters connected directly to one of the latest
generation of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA's). The FFT, power
and integration calculations are performed by this FPGA. This novel architecture
provides the high level of performance required with the flexibility to
modify or use different processing algorithms. This was implemented as
a Linux based 19inch rack system with GUI for system management.
Developed for a TV equipment company,RMON is a remote monitoring and
control system for broadcast video processing and editing systems.
Based upon Linux technology and deployed on PC platforms
it uses TCP/IP and PPP protocols across point to point modem links,
Internet and local Ethernet networks. The system employs an easy to use GUI
allowing technicians to access remote logs, control the remote systems and
upload new software.
The Clipnet system was developed for Quantel. It is a Video clip network
access system operating over Gigabit networks. It provides for
the fast transfer of Video clips from one system to another as well
as providing directory information. The system was written in 'C++'
and ported to Linux, WindowsNT and Silicon Graphics IRIX systems.
We have extensive experience in cross platform porting.
- GNU Fortran to Embedded Alpha Processor System
- GNAT ADA to Embedded Alpha Processor System
- GNU 'C' and 'C++' to Embedded Alpha Processor System
- GNU debugger to Embedded Alpha Processor System.
- SHARC DSP host development environment to Sun Solaris x86 and Linux platforms
- Port of telephone interface DSP driver to Unix
- Port of RCS with user specific modifications to Unix
Research, Design and Development of Braille/Speech screen reading system for Blind users of Unix X-Window systems.
Development of Plasma Etching process control software
Developed in C++ under the Microsoft Windows operating system this GUI
based application encapsulated process knowledge for the control of a
plasma processing installation.
Hardware and Software for professional joystick
An analogue force joystick to mouse system mouse protocol converter.
Developed for use in research modelling. Embedded
single chip microprocessor technology.
HBOX design and development
An interface box between a telephone line, PC sound card, telephone headset and external
sound source. Used in call centre applications.