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HPx Card Overview

Radar Interface Hardware

The HPx series of radar interface cards from Cambridge Pixel includes the HPx-400e, HPx-250, HPx-200 and HPx-346 cards (see table below). These cards can be provided with various software packages, ranging from a low-level board support library, up to the SPx Development library and full-featured server or client display applications.

The HPx-400e is a high-performance PCI express single or dual stream primary radar acquisition card, capable of capturing and processing analogue and digital primary radar video from up to two independent radars. The dual stream HPx-400e variant supports a number of multi-channel input modes, including dual redundancy and fully independent dual-stream capture. This flexibility allows the number of radar input cards to be reduced while retaining system capability.

The HPx-200 is a flexible, cost-effective PCI primary radar acquisition card that captures and processes one or two analogue or digital radar video signals from a single radar. When used with the SPx radar processing library it is possible to build radar distribution servers and integrated display solutions rapidly and cost-effectively. Alternatively, if you have your own processing software, HPx-200 is the ideal capture solution.

HPx-250 provides a similar set of capabilities to the HPx-200 but on the compact PMC form-factor. The PMC board may be fitted to a compact PCI (cPCI), VME or VPX processor card for a rugged embedded solution.

HPx-346 is the latest addition to the HPx family, combining radar interfacing and network video distribution into a compact, self-contained card. The HPx-346 interfaces directly to the analogue signals of a radar, digitises and packetises the radar video data, before sending it onto the network from its onboard Ethernet connector.

Cambridge Pixel's current range of HPx hardware builds on the field-proven HPx-100 (PCI) and HPx-150 (PMC) cards.  All HPx cards are backwards compatible with previous generations of hardware, with the appropriate software support.   

Model Form Factor Status
HPx-400e PCIe, x1 lane, full height Active
HPx-250 PMC Active
HPx-200 PCI, half-length, full height Active
HPx-200e PCI, half-length, full height Not for new designs
HPx-346 IEEE 1386 CMC or box-level product Active
HPx-180 PCI/PCIe form-factor (no electrical bus interaction) Active

Radar Capture

HPx hardware has been used to interface to many different types of radar, from small marine radars to large air surveillance and from legacy military radars to modern solid state radars.

The cards can be configured to handle a wide range of signal types, including differential and single-ended with signals up to 60V.

Analogue input videos are captured at up to 100 MHz (HPx-400e/HPx-346) or 50 MHz (HPx-200/HPx-250) sample rate using high-precision analogue to digital converters at 12-bits resolution. The captured video can be optionally down-sampled to reduce the data rate before being transferred across the PCI/PCI express bus (using high speed DMA transfer) or sent onto the network, in the case of the HPx-346. An on-board FPGA provides data processing and control and also offers capability for expanding the data processing functions for customised applications.

On the host/receiving computer the SPx processing library may be used to provide a full complement of radar processing functions. Ready-made server and client display applications are also available to provide off-the-shelf solutions for common processing or display requirements.

Azimuth Input Options

All HPx radar input cards support input of ACP (bearing) and ARP (heading) control signals. 12-bit parallel azimuth RS-422 input is also supported directly on all cards except the HPx-346.

Synchro/resolver signals can be accommodated via the use of an HPx-180 companion card. The HPx-180 card accepts the reference and signal outputs from a synchro or resolver and converts them into a parallel azimuth output that can be accepted by an HPx-400e/HPx-200 card. The HPx-180 occupies a PCI/PCIe form factor but makes no electrical contact with the bus connector, so may be fitted into either type of slot.

Versions of the HPx-180 card are available to support synchros and resolvers with 115V reference/90V signals and those with 26V reference/11.8V signals.

SPx Radar Processing

The optional SPx radar processing library (see here) is an extensible toolkit of radar-specific functions that can be linked together to form a processing chain. Using this library, radar video can be processed to remove clutter, interference and enhance gain prior to network distribution or scan-conversion and display. Custom functions are easily incorporated into the processing chain.

SPx Distribution and Scan Conversion

The captured video may be compressed, distributed or displayed with the optional SPx library software. A complete server application, optionally incorporating radar recording, is built from just a few function calls into the SPx library. For integrated display solutions, the SPx scan-converter is easily connected to the HPx card's output to provide real-time radar video updates in Windows or Linux/X11.

Purchase Options

The HPx-400e/200/250 cards can be purchased as OEM cards for integration into your projects. A software driver is available that handles all interaction with the card and presents a programming interface (API) in C/C++. The card is supported under Linux and Windows (7/8/10) as standard. You can expand the processing of the captured radar video using the related SPx software programming library. This provides a set of software modules for many common radar processing functions.

The HPx-346 may also be supplied as an OEM card or as a box-level product (please consult factory for options). In either case radar video data is output onto the network in an open format, so may be received and decoded with no special software requirements. However, the full power and flexibility of the SPx software is also available to receive and process this data.

Cambridge Pixel Sensor Acquisition and Tracking Product
HPx-400e Datasheet
Cambridge Pixel Sensor Acquisition and Tracking Product
HPx-346 Datasheet
Cambridge Pixel Sensor Acquisition and Tracking Product
HPx-200 Datasheet
Cambridge Pixel Sensor Acquisition and Tracking Product
HPx-250 Datasheet
Cambridge Pixel Sensor Acquisition and Tracking Product
HPx-200e Datasheet

A comparision of radar input card features is given in the table below.

  HPx-200 HPx-250 HPx-400e HPx-346
Form factor PCI PMC PCIe IEEE 1386 CMC
or box-level
Board Support API  
SPx Library Support
SPx Server Support  
Web Interface      
Linux Support N/A
Windows Support N/A
Analogue Video Channels 2 2 2 1
Digital Video Inputs 8 bits 2 bits 8 bits  
Trigger Input ✔ (2)
ACP/ARP Inputs ✔ (2 sets)
Synchro/resolver Input (via HPx-180)    
Parallel Azimuth Input  
End of Range Signal ✔ (2)
Programmable Video Mixer N/A
Gain/Offset Control
Max Return Length (samples) 64k 64k 64k 16k
Sampling Rate (per channel) 50MHz 50MHz 100MHz 100MHz
Video Bandwidth (per channel) 25MHz 25MHz 50MHz 50MHz
Programmable Trigger Delay
Max PRF 16kHz 16kHz 16kHz 16kHz
Max Scan Rate 120rpm 120rpm 120rpm 120rpm

Analogue Radar Interfacing

HPx radar input cards have been used to interface to many popular and specialist radar models.

Learn more