LOFAR4SW: Hardware design

The LOFAR4SW team completed the second periodic report on January 30, submitted on time to the EC. Now our team can focus on the final year of the project, we are exactly 12 months away from the end. In the coming months the activities will ramp up, since the critical design review is quickly approaching (September 2021).

The picture on the top left shows the printed circuit board CAD design of the dual beamformer board designed by our team for the HBA tile prototype. It contains delays and control circuitry for 4-dual polarized antenna elements. The current layout was recently reviewed. After solving the comments and issues identified, the board will be ready for production.

In parallel, a beamforming board including ASIC was developed by our partners in Nançay and was recently sent to production (see picture on the top right side). The time delay in the board is organized as follow: a 1st group integrated on ASICs and a 2nd group done with inductance etched in the PCB. The board includes all necessary components such as RF path, control/monitoring and DC power filtering. The size of the PCB is 29×24 cm. Two nested boards can handle 16 antennas (one HBA tile) creating dual beam for one polarization; 4 boards per tile are sufficient to have dual beam per HBA tile on station.

Author: Carla Baldovin

See also: https://www.astron.nl/lofar2-0-newsletter/lofar2-0-newsletter-march-2021/

Spread the love