Sanitas EG contributed to the on-line edition of SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020 Digital Forum, 14 – 18 December 2020.
As designers of the ITPM-ADU board, we were invited by INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) to co-author the paper “Design and prototyping of the Italian Tile Processing Module 1.6 (iTPM) for the low-frequency aperture array deployment”, presented during the forum, and we were more than glad to get this opportunity.
The paper describes the new version of the digital hardware Italian Tile Processing Module (ITPM) 1.6 released for the Low-Frequency Aperture Array (LFAA) component of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). It includes two plugged-in main blocks, the Pre-ADU board that implements the analog receiver, and an Analog to Digital Unit (ADU), designed by Sanitas. The iTPM ADU 1.6 board is a 6U board containing sixteen dual-inputs Analog to Digital Converters and two Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices. It is capable of digitizing and processing 32 RF input signals (50-650 MHz). The paper in particular details the main features of the upgrade of the ADU board compared to previous versions: the improved processing capabilities due to the new and high performance components, the good fitting in the housing sub-rack thanks to the mechanical changes, the general reduction of the overall power consumption. The ITPM ADU 1.6 version, now in engineering phase together with its sub-rack system, represents a crucial step in the project evolution since it is currently the last prototype before the design of the industrial line for mass production, necessary for the LFAA deployment.