Project/Proposal Title : Power Efficient Implementation of a Hardware Accelerated Real-Time 3D Reconstruction System

Source of Support : North Carolina Space Grant (NC Spacegrant)

Description : This project's goal is to develop a power-efficient system intended to act as a potential 3D scanning instrument for a spacecraft payload. The system adopts a hybrid hardware approach that combines the flexibility of a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) with the speed of purpose-built algorithms implemented in a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) to generate real-time 3D surface measurements using stereoscopic reconstruction techniques. Research contributions specific to this project include a power-sensitive overall instrument design, varifocal 3D reconstruction capable of maintaining accuracy farther away from the spacecraft and FPGA-based hardware acceleration of this computationally intensive problem.