Presentation Title

Communications Between an Onboard FPGA and Microcontroller System for Antarctic Neutrino Research

Faculty Mentor

Jordan Hanson

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

Location

149

Session

poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

engineering_computer_science

Abstract

The Antarctic Ross Ice-Shelf ANtenna Neutrino Array (ARIANNA) is an array of autonomous stations designed to detect ultra high energy (UHE) neutrinos via radio frequency (RF) pulses. Each station utilizes a field programmable gate array (FPGA) on the motherboard to both communicate between different motherboard components, and to define a digital logic trigger that initiates data readout from the RF channels. An MBED 32-bit Cortex-M3 microcontroller is used to process and save the data to an SD card, and to send the data out via a satellite modem. The winds and man-made activities in Antarctica affect the RF trigger rate of the stations both by creating RF pulses that resemble those of neutrinos, and by changing the RF noise environment in general. Currently, the properties of the ARIANNA digital trigger are set manually and have to be reconfigured via satellite modem. Automating this process would maximize system efficiency and minimize false positive triggers. We have developed an FPGA firmware component called the Multi-Mode Frequency Counter (MMFC) designed to calculate the RF trigger rate at the motherboard layer before the microcontroller saves the data to the SD card. This gives the motherboard the ability to optimize its own threshold. We have successfully integrated the MMFC into the firmware and added code to the microcontroller software to receive the MMFC data via SPI protocol. The FPGA now measures RF trigger rates with ~5% fractional error across a range of 100 Hz to 25 MHz, and the results are captured and used by the microcontroller.

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Nov 23rd, 10:00 AM Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM

Communications Between an Onboard FPGA and Microcontroller System for Antarctic Neutrino Research

149

The Antarctic Ross Ice-Shelf ANtenna Neutrino Array (ARIANNA) is an array of autonomous stations designed to detect ultra high energy (UHE) neutrinos via radio frequency (RF) pulses. Each station utilizes a field programmable gate array (FPGA) on the motherboard to both communicate between different motherboard components, and to define a digital logic trigger that initiates data readout from the RF channels. An MBED 32-bit Cortex-M3 microcontroller is used to process and save the data to an SD card, and to send the data out via a satellite modem. The winds and man-made activities in Antarctica affect the RF trigger rate of the stations both by creating RF pulses that resemble those of neutrinos, and by changing the RF noise environment in general. Currently, the properties of the ARIANNA digital trigger are set manually and have to be reconfigured via satellite modem. Automating this process would maximize system efficiency and minimize false positive triggers. We have developed an FPGA firmware component called the Multi-Mode Frequency Counter (MMFC) designed to calculate the RF trigger rate at the motherboard layer before the microcontroller saves the data to the SD card. This gives the motherboard the ability to optimize its own threshold. We have successfully integrated the MMFC into the firmware and added code to the microcontroller software to receive the MMFC data via SPI protocol. The FPGA now measures RF trigger rates with ~5% fractional error across a range of 100 Hz to 25 MHz, and the results are captured and used by the microcontroller.