Publication (Journal publications)

Test bed for real-time image acquisition and processing systems based on FlexRIO, Camera Link, and EPICS

Barrera, E.; Ruiz, M.; Sanz, D.; Vega, J.; Castro, R.; Juárez Martínez, Eduardo; Salvador, Rubén
Image diagnostics are becoming standard ones in nuclear fusion. At present, images are typically analyzed off-line. However, real-time processing is occasionally required (for instance, hot-spot detection or pattern recognition tasks), which will be the objective for the next generation of fusion devices. In this paper, a test bed for image generation, acquisition, and real-time processing is presented. The proposed solution is built using a Camera Link simulator, a Camera Link frame-grabber, a PXIe chassis, and offers software interface with EPICS. The Camera Link simulator (PCIe card PCIe8 DVa C-Link from Engineering Design Team) generates simulated image data (for example, from video-movies stored in fusion databases) using a Camera Link interface to mimic the frame sequences produced with diagnostic cameras. The Camera Link frame-grabber (FlexRIO Solution from National Instruments) includes a field programmable gate array (FPGA) for image acquisition using a Camera Link interface; the FPGA allows for the codification of ad-hoc image processing algorithms using LabVIEW/FPGA software. The frame grabber is integrated in a PXIe chassis with system architecture similar to that of the ITER Fast Controllers, and the frame grabber provides a software interface with EPICS to program all of its functionalities, capture the images, and perform the required image processing. The use of these four elements allows for the implementation of a test bed system that permits the development and validation of real-time image processing techniques in an architecture that is fully compatible with that of the ITER Fast Controllers. This paper provides a specific example of a pattern search in a movie, its real-time implementation, and a performance analysis of the entire platform. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Type of Publication:
Journal publications
Real-time, Image processing, FlexRIO, FPGA, EPICS, Camera Link