SPx Radar Scan Converter

SPx Radar Scan Conversion

Cambridge Pixel is a world-leading supplier of advanced radar display solutions. We supply ready-to-run applications, such as RadarView and SPx Server, which include radar display or component modules as part of the SPx Development Library that add radar display into your own Linux or Windows application software.

A key feature of our scan-converter is the ease of adding radar into your existing Windows or Linux application. Our Radar Insertion technology allows the scan converter to insert its image into your Windows/Linux graphics application with minimal changes to the application. This allows application developers to build the graphics application with normal Windows or Linux graphics tools, optionally with third-party graphics toolkits. The SPx software adds the real-time radar image into the display window using capabilities of Windows and X11 to support real-time, highly efficient, multi-window compositing. The result is a real-time, smoothly-rotating radar image added into a multi-layer graphics applications.

Cambridge Pixel supplies software and expertise to help you develop radar processing servers or clients. We'll be here to advise which software approach will work best, and we will support you in the software development process. If you contact Cambridge Pixel with a question you'll speak with a highly qualified engineer who understands radar and software. It is our unique blend of software and radar knowledge that makes Cambridge Pixel the world leader in this field.

We recognise that there are different requirements for radar display - Windows/Linux, Client/Server, 8/16/24/32 bit, different display modes, underlay maps and overlay symbology etc. We provide solutions that can fit around different software architectures. If you have an existing Windows or Linux application we can insert radar as a software layer with minimal changes to your application structure.

The SPx library supports multiple scan conversion methodologies, including:

  • Scan convert inside a client application using a C++ class library
  • Scan convert in a separate process with a lightweight socket-based interface from a client (RDC method)
  • Scan convert in a server and deliver static image bitmaps to client displays (RIS method)
  • Scan convert in a server and deliver client-managed bitmaps to client display.

High-performance, software-based radar scan conversion

The SPx scan-converter is state-of-the-art COTS software providing a high-performance, cost-effective radar scan conversion capability for Windows and X11 graphical environments. For a basic introduction to radar scan conversion, see here.

The scan conversion software exploits the power of modern multi-core processors and graphics processor units (GPUs) to provide high performance, flexibility, low cost and freedom from proprietary hardware.

With the SPx library's scan conversion module you write the application software in Microsoft Windows (Win32, MFC, .NET) or Linux X11, optionally using a third-party toolkit. SPx provides the radar scan-conversion module which creates the radar picture and handles display mixing with the graphics - all using low-cost, easy-to-maintain hardware.

SPx Scan Conversion Application Development

The SPx library scan conversion module provides an Application Programming Interface (API) to control the processing and presentation of the radar video. A small number of calls from the application software to the module are used to set-up and dynamically configure the operation. Changes to window size, scale or display presentation are effected in real-time, to help ensure that the radar component of the display stays synchronised to changes in the remaining graphics layers. Updates to the contents of the scan-converted bitmaps can be reported to the application software at a programmable rate through one of a number of software event mechanisms, or else the scan-converter can directly update the screen itself to semi-transparently blend the radar video with the graphics. Either way, SPx supports real-time sector-based updates of the radar display or else lower frequency (quadrant or scans) as needed.

Extended Processing Capabilities

The SPx product family supports the addition of a number of radar processing modules to improve the presentation of the radar video. These include thresholding, filtering, clutter suppression and scan-to-scan integration. Optional recording capabilities are available in the compatible SPx library's recording module that records the polar radar video to support, for example, incident recording or training applications. For more information on SPx processing modules, see here

Cost-Effective - Uses low-cost, computing and graphics hardware

The SPx software scan converter is a cost-effective solution for radar processing and display. By eliminating the special purpose hardware in your system, both capital and maintenance costs are reduced. The same software solution can be run on a variety of computing platforms from laptops through to high-end multi-core, multi-processor servers. By removing the dependence on proprietary hardware, we give system integrators the flexibility to use the most cost-effective hardware components. Beware vendors who will restrict your options for hardware selection and lock you in to a life time of expensive hardware, maintenance and proprietary interfaces. Cambridge Pixel is founded on the principles of open architecture, open systems, and extensible software components.