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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 27 — Sep. 20, 2009
  • pp: 5190–5196

Hardware accelerated optical alignment of lasers using beam-specific matched filters

Abdul A. S. Awwal, Kenneth L. Rice, and Tarek M. Taha  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 27, pp. 5190-5196 (2009)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.48.005190


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Abstract

Accurate automated alignment of laser beams in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) is essential for achieving extreme temperature and pressure required for inertial confinement fusion. The alignment achieved by the integrated control systems relies on algorithms processing video images to determine the position of the laser beam images in real time. Alignment images that exhibit wide variations in beam quality require a matched-filter algorithm for position detection. One challenge in designing a matched-filter-based algorithm is to construct a filter template that is resilient to variations in imaging conditions while guaranteeing accurate position determination. A second challenge is to process images for thousands of templates in under a second, as may be required in future high-energy laser systems. This paper describes the development of a new analytical template that captures key recurring features present in the beam image to accurately estimate the beam position under good image quality conditions. Depending on the features present in a particular beam, the analytical template allows us to create a highly tailored template containing only those selected features. The second objective is achieved by exploiting the parallelism inherent in the algorithm to accelerate processing using parallel hardware that provides significant performance improvement over conventional processors. In particular, a Xilinx Virtex II Pro field programmable gate array (FPGA) hardware implementation processing 32 templates provided a speed increase of about 253 times over an optimized software implementation running on a 2.2 ‚ÄČ GHz AMD Opteron core.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(070.5010) Fourier optics and signal processing : Pattern recognition
(220.1140) Optical design and fabrication : Alignment
(100.3008) Image processing : Image recognition, algorithms and filters
(140.3538) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, pulsed
(100.4999) Image processing : Pattern recognition, target tracking
(150.5758) Machine vision : Robotic and machine control

ToC Category:
Fourier Optics and Signal Processing

History
Original Manuscript: February 10, 2009
Revised Manuscript: August 31, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: September 1, 2009
Published: September 15, 2009

Citation
Abdul A. S. Awwal, Kenneth L. Rice, and Tarek M. Taha, "Hardware accelerated optical alignment of lasers using beam-specific matched filters," Appl. Opt. 48, 5190-5196 (2009)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-48-27-5190

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