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RT-DSP Using “See Through”

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Best of Computers in Education Division

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1062.1 - 24.1062.12

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Paper Authors


Cameron H. G. Wright P.E. University of Wyoming Orcid 16x16

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Cameron H. G. Wright, Ph.D., P.E., is an associate professor with the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. He was previously a professor and deputy department head in the department of electrical engineering at the United States Air Force Academy, and served as an R&D engineering officer in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years. He received his B.S.E.E. (summa cum laude) from Louisiana Tech University in 1983, an M.S.E.E. from Purdue University in 1988, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin in 1996. Cam's research interests include signal and image processing, real-time embedded computer systems, biomedical instrumentation, and engineering education. He is a member of ASEE, IEEE, SPIE, BMES, NSPE, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. His teaching awards include the University of Wyoming Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award (2012), the Tau Beta Pi WY-A Undergraduate Teaching Award (2011), the IEEE UW Student Branch's Outstanding Professor of the Year (2005 and 2008), the UW Mortar Board "Top Prof" award (2005 and 2007), the Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE Rocky Mountain Section (2007), the John A. Curtis Lecture Award from the Computers in Education Division of ASEE (1998, 2005, and 2010), and the Brigadier General Roland E. Thomas Award for outstanding contribution to cadet education (both 1992 and 1993) at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is an active ABET evaluator and an NCEES PE exam committee member.

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Thad B. Welch P.E. Boise State University

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Dr. Thad B. Welch, P.E., is a professor and past chair of the electrical and computer engineering department at Boise State University in Idaho. He received his B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1979, the same year he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy, M.S.E.E. and E.E. degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1989, and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1997. He has been assigned to three submarines and a submarine repair tender, and deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Arctic Ocean.

From 1994-1997, Dr. Welch was an instructor and assistant professor teaching in the electrical engineering department at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he was recognized as the department's Outstanding Academy Educator. From 1997-2007, he was an assistant professor, associate professor, and permanent military professor teaching in the electrical engineering department at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., where he was recognized as the department's Outstanding Academy Educator (2000-1) and outstanding researcher (2002-3), He also received the Raouf outstanding engineering educator award (2001-2), As an invited scholar at the University of Wyoming in 2004, he was recognized as an eminent engineer and inducted into Tau Beta Pi. In 2006, he co-authored “Real-time Digital Signal Processing, from MATLAB to C with the TMS320C6x DSK.”

Dr. Welch, who joined Boise State in 2007, was a professor and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department until 2010. From 2011-2012 he was the inaugural Signal Processing Education Network (SPEN) Fellow. In December of 2011 the second edition of their real-time DSP book was released. From 2012-2014 he and his wife lived with 20 engineering students in the engineering residential college (ERC) on the Boise State campus.

His research interests include real-time digital signal processing (DSP), the implementation of DSP-based systems, communication systems analysis, efficient simulation of communication systems, spread-spectrum techniques, and ultra-wideband systems.

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Michael G. Morrow University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Michael G. Morrow, M.Eng.E.E., P.E., is a faculty associate in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He previously taught at Boise State University and the U.S. Naval Academy. He is the founder and president of Educational DSP (eDSP), LLC, developing affordable DSP education solutions. He is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ASEE.

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RT-DSP Using “See Through”Digital signal processing (DSP) has become one of the “must know” topics that many employersexpect of new electrical and computer engineering graduates. It has been found that a trueunderstanding of many fundamental DSP topics can be more fully realized by a student whenthey attempt to implement various DSP algorithms in real-time (typically in C), when comparedto non-real-time implementations with tools such as MATLAB or LabVIEW. In order to helpstudents successfully transition from theory to real-time practice, there needs to be both apedagogical method and an infrastructure in place to support them and target as many modes oflearning as are reasonably possible.The authors have long advocated a three-step method of teaching DSP. First, we teach the theoryalong with interesting and motivating real-time demonstrations. We then have studentsimplement a particular concept using MATLAB [1], until they are comfortable with the basictopic. Finally, we have them “de-vectorize” their MATLAB code and convert it to C, in order tocompile and run it in real-time on high-performance DSP hardware.Most of our previous efforts have involved audio signals, and these signals were digitized by astereo audio codec (e.g., TVL320AIC3106). In this paper, we extend our coding framework toallow for real-time image capture, processing, and display. A composite video signal from acamera is digitized by a video digital decoder (TVP5147M1). Once digitized, the signal must beconverted to red-green-blue (RGB) format. This conversion is currently accomplished in aninterrupt service routine (ISR) of the DSP code, which executes once per image frame. Whileformat conversion is only required just prior to the signal being displayed, we choose to performthe RGB conversion at this early point because our students are more familiar with RGB-basedimage processing techniques.At this point in the process, porting the RGB signal via the video digital-to-analog converter(DAC, THS8135) using the standard 15-pin VGA connector, accomplishes what we call seethrough. That is, the image processing equivalent of talk through is see through. Both talkthrough and see through demonstrate that a working, end-to-end system, has been achieved. Thisbasic step has been shown to eliminate many learning barriers for students who are just learningreal-time DSP.We have also made available the necessary algorithm insertion points for either student code orlibraries from the OpenCV [2] library of open source routines. All of this code runs outside ofthe challenging DSP/BIOS or SYS/BIOS [3] environment. A block diagram of the OMAP-L138Development Kit (LCDK) [4] is provided in Figure 1.During our presentation at the Annual ASEE Conference in Indianapolis, we will provide a real-time demonstration of the effectiveness of the see through system.[1] The MathWorks, Inc., MATLAB: The Language of Technical Computing, 2013.[2] OpenCV,[3] SYS/BIOS real-time kernel,[4] OMAP-L138 Development Kit (LCDK), additional information, Figure 1. OMAP-L138 C6748 low cost development kit functional block diagram [4].

Wright, C. H. G., & Welch, T. B., & Morrow, M. G. (2014, June), RT-DSP Using “See Through” Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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