Brent Carlson – Central Signal Processor (CSP-SKA) Consortium Lead System Engineer, National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

Brent Carlson 21.1.14

Presentations for Computing for SKA

PowerMX: a flexible platform specification for signal processing

Brent Carlson, NRC


SKA Phase 1 (SKA1) presents significant signal processing challenges, both in terms of real-time computational requirements, and in lifetime of pre-construction through to operations.  PowerMX is a specification that aims to provide a standard platform with enough commonality for sharing and plug-and-play of modules built according to the specification, but with enough flexibility and performance to fuel innovation for use and deployment in various ways hopefully for many years to come.  A preliminary hardware Base Specification (informed by considerable input from multiple organizations) now exists and designs built to that specification are in progress.  This talk will discuss the Base Specification, current status of some designs, and examples of use and deployments currently being envisioned.


Second presentation:

“White board discussion of correlators and beamformers”

An open conversation with the audience.



I have been at DRAO NRC-Penticton for >23 years.  Principle engineer for the VSOP (VLBI Space Observatory Programme–1990-1998) and EVLA (Expanded Very Large Array–2000-2010) correlator projects.  Currently lead system engineer for the NRC (National Research Council Canada), MDA (MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates), and  STFC-ATC UK -led SKA CSP (Central Signal Processing) consortium to execute the SKA Stage 1 work package.  Also, leading with SKA-SA, the SKA1 MID CBF PIP work package, and PowerMX technology development.