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Real-time processing of radar return on a parallel computerNASA is working with the FAA to demonstrate the feasibility of pulse Doppler radar as a candidate airborne sensor to detect low altitude windshears. The need to provide the pilot with timely information about possible hazards has motivated a demand for real-time processing of a radar return. Investigated here is parallel processing as a means of accommodating the high data rates required. A PC based parallel computer, called the transputer, is used to investigate issues in real time concurrent processing of radar signals. A transputer network is made up of an array of single instruction stream processors that can be networked in a variety of ways. They are easily reconfigured and software development is largely independent of the particular network topology. The performance of the transputer is evaluated in light of the computational requirements. A number of algorithms have been implemented on the transputers in OCCAM, a language specially designed for parallel processing. These include signal processing algorithms such as the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), pulse-pair, and autoregressive modelling, as well as routing software to support concurrency. The most computationally intensive task is estimating the spectrum. Two approaches have been taken on this problem, the first and most conventional of which is to use the FFT. By using table look-ups for the basis function and other optimizing techniques, an algorithm has been developed that is sufficient for real time. The other approach is to model the signal as an autoregressive process and estimate the spectrum based on the model coefficients. This technique is attractive because it does not suffer from the spectral leakage problem inherent in the FFT. Benchmark tests indicate that autoregressive modeling is feasible in real time.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Aalfs, David D. (Clemson Univ. SC, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1992
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:4456
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 505-64-12-02
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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