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design and implementation of a mechanical control system for the scanning microwave limb sounderThe Scanning Microwave Limb Sounder (SMLS) will use technological improvements in low noise mixers to provide precise data on the Earth's atmospheric composition with high spatial resolution. This project focuses on the design and implementation of a real time control system needed for airborne engineering tests of the SMLS. The system must coordinate the actuation of optical components using four motors with encoder readback, while collecting synchronized telemetric data from a GPS receiver and 3-axis gyrometric system. A graphical user interface for testing the control system was also designed using Python. Although the system could have been implemented with a FPGA-based setup, we chose to use a low cost processor development kit manufactured by XMOS. The XMOS architecture allows parallel execution of multiple tasks on separate threads-making it ideal for this application and is easily programmed using XC (a subset of C). The necessary communication interfaces were implemented in software, including Ethernet, with significant cost and time reduction compared to an FPGA-based approach. For these reasons, the XMOS technology is an attractive, cost effective, alternative to FPGA-based technologies for this design and similar rapid prototyping projects.
Document ID
Document Type
External Source(s)
Bowden, William
(British Columbia Cancer Agency Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 2011
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Mars Science Laboratory Robotics
WB-57 aircraft
XMOS Control