CICADA Software Status

Background and Introduction

The Green Bank Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument (GUPPI) is the next-generation pulsar processor for the GBT and is built on the CASPER platform (Center for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research at U.C. Berkeley). GUPPI development hit first-light in spring of 2008 and from the beginning has required at least an expert-user interface to provide simple controls and access to its parameters.

The CASPER platform provides for hardware registers and memory locations to be accessible by name on its FPGA-based hardware boards. These boards have 100 Mbit Ethernet interfaces with either a simple shell (called TinySH) or a full Linux shell. Interfacing to these boards requires client-side software (i.e. for that which communicates with these boards) which currently is not available off-the-shelf (although there exists code which prototypes functionality for some pieces).

This FPGA-driven hardware platform and its flexible low-level software counterpart provide a toolflow for highly promising rapid development of new radio astronomy backends.


Software effort for NRAO's Configurable Instrument Collaboration for Agile Data Acquisition (CICADA) program and GUPPI project aim to deliver control software for GUPPI as well as a generic suite for parameter control for all standard CASPER implementations, which can be used throughout the NRAO and by its collaborators.

Recent News

  • 25 Feb 2008 - The Green Bank software division welcomes Patrick Brandt. CICADA and GUPPI now officially have 1.25 FTE of software effort.
  • 02 Apr 2008 - The GUPPI command-line interface is put to use in Green Bank.
  • 17 Apr 2008 - The GUPPI team connects GUPPI to the GBT during an observation.
  • 28 Jun 2008 - NRAO presents GUPPI Software at SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation, Advanced Software & Control for Astronomy.
  • 30 Sep 2008 - GUPPI enters shared-risk mode for GBT observations.

Current Status

  • Completed in Feb 2008 - Design CICADA and GUPPI software packages, from low-level hardware interfacing to expert-level user interfacing (with support for a GBT manager to be added later).
  • Completed in Mar 2008 - Demonstrate a head-to-toe implementation of the CICADA and GUPPI software packages, providing a single functional command-line interface for controlling the latest gateware implementation to date.
  • Completed in Sep 2008 - Implement a basic GBT manager for GUPPI and integrate with the Monitor & Control system for shared-risk, limited operation of GUPPI.
  • Completed in Mar 2009 - Fully install the GUPPI controller software, so that users and scripts on host 'beef' can access a system-wide tool/library.
  • Completed - Fully integrate GUPPI into the GBT Monitor & Control system.

-- RonDuPlain - 03 Mar 2008 - 16 Mar 2009

Topic attachments
I Attachment ActionSorted descending Size Date Who Comment
SPIE08-GUPPI-preprint.pdfpdf SPIE08-GUPPI-preprint.pdf manage 278 K 2008-05-26 - 17:18 UnknownUser Launching GUPPI: the Green Bank Ultimate Pulsar Processor
This topic: Software > CicadaSoftwareStatus
Topic revision: 2010-09-29, RonDuPlain
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