This paper describes the design, tests and preliminary results of a real-time parallel signal processor built to aid a wide variety of pulsar observations. The signal processor reduces the distortions caused by the effects of dispersion, Faraday rotation, doppler acceleration and parallactic angle variations, at a sustained data rate of 32 Msamples/sec. It also folds the pulses coherently over the period and integrates adjacent samples in time and frequency to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio. The resulting data are recorded for further off-line analysis of the characteristics of pulsars and the intervening medium. The signal processing for analysis of pulsar signals is quite complex, imposing the need for a high computational throughput, typically of the order of a Giga operations per second (GOPS). Conventionally, the high computational demand restricts the flexibility to handle only a few types of pulsar observations. This instrument is designed to handle a wide variety of Pulsar observations with the Giant Metre Wave Radio Telescope (GMRT), and is flexible enough to be used in many other high-speed, signal processing applications. The technology used includes field-programmable-gate-array(FPGA) based data/code routing interfaces, PC-AT based control, diagnostics and data acquisition, digital signal processor (DSP) chip based parallel processing nodes and C language based control software and DSP-assembly programs for signal processing. The architecture and the software implementation of the parallel processor are fine-tuned to realize about 60 MOPS per DSP node and a multiple-instruction-multiple-data (MIMD) capability.
Volume 40 | Issue 3
Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.