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Digital filtering of scattered laser light on FPGA

Rodolfo Orosco-Guerrero#1, Ivn Domnguez-Lpez*2, Adrin L. Garca-Garca*3, Daniel Gonzlez-Alvarez*4


#
*

Instituto Tecnolgico de Celaya, Ingeniera Electrnica , Av. Garca Cubas 1200, Fovissste, 38010 Cela ya, Mexico.

Centro de Investigacin en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnologa Avanzada-Unidad Quertaro, Instituto Politcnico Nacional
Cerro Blanco 141, Colinas del Cimatario, C.P. 76090, Quertaro, Mxico
1

rodolfo.orosco@itcelaya.edu.mx
2
idominguezl@ipn.mx
3
agarciag@ipn.mx
4
dgonzaleza1300@alumno.ipn.mx

AbstractRecently, laser light scattering (LLS) has been


applied to follow up in-situ, and in real-time the complex
behavior of wear processes in a pin-on-disc tribometer, made in
house [1,2]. The optical elements required for LLS are: laser
light emitter diode, a photo-detector to measure the intensity of
scattered light, a beam splitter, and a photo-detector to monitor
the stability of the laser source, which is also used to normalize
the scattered-light signal. Due to the sensitivity of the photodetectors used for this application, it is necessary to filter out any
contribution to the signals coming from light sources other than
the laser light, scattered or otherwise. To this purpose, an SR830
Stanford Research lock-in amplifier has been used. However,
once the lock-in parameters are set, they need no further
adjustment; therefore, this expensive instrument may be
exchanged for a dedicated filter. This work describes the
implementation of a lock-in type digital filter using a
CompactRIO system from National Instruments. The algorithm
runs on an FPGA LX45. The output from the FPGA is fed onto a
host PC where a user graphics interface spreads out the results
for storing. The algorithm was designed specifically for the
application here described, without using any of the LabView
modules predesigned for similar purposes. The experimental
results obtained with the in-house built lock-in are satisfactorily
comparable to those obtained with the commercial instrument.
The filter sensitivity allows the detection of surface imperfections
invisible to the naked eye.

application, it is possible to develop a specific filter for this


purpose. The digital filter described in this paper was
implemented in full in a LX45 FPGA as part of a
CompactRIO model 9076, made by National Instruments.
Digital filter programming was made specifically for this
application and none of the predesigned LabView algorithms
were used. The filter here described is part of an automation
project for the pin-on-disc tribometer developed at CICATAQuertaro which also incorporates: angular velocity control,
frictional force measuring, vertical and horizontal positioning
of tribometers arm, goniometers positioning, among others
II. MATERIALS AND METHODS
In the following paragraphs a description of the
experimental setup is provided.
A. Laser Light Scattering System

The optical setup built to support the LLS technique is


shown in Figure 1 and described in detail elsewhere [3,4]. The
device consists of a goniometer mounted on a platform driven
by a stepper motor with a displacement rate of 252 steps/mm
which travels along a pair of linear guides. This system allows
to independently locating the laser light source and the LLS
detector in a range from 0 to 75 and from 0 to 80,
respectively; both angles measured respect to the normal to
the surface.

I. INTRODUCTION
The Laser Light Scattering-(LLS) technique has been
successfully used for the detection of wear in tribological
experiments performed in a pin-on-disk configuration [1-4].
This technique involves a laser beam impinging on the surface
of interest and an optical sensor to detect the magnitude of the
LLS. The photodetector used, not only records information
from the scattered light but also detects the more intense
changes in the ambient light. The result obtained from the
sensor is a high-noise signal. In order to discriminate the
scattered light signal from the environmental noise, a phase
sensitive detection (PSD) technique is used, this technique has
been applied to discriminate signals in environments where
signal to noise ratio is about 10-3[5], this feature makes it ideal
for the present application.
Presently, a commercial Lock-In amplifier made by
Stanford Research Systems, model SR830 has been used to
measure scattered laser light, however once the operating
parameters of the Lock-In have been set for the tribological

Laser

Laser spot

Wear track
LLS Detector
Fig. 17. Goniometer and LLS technique elements. Photograph shows the
linear guides for radial scanning of the disk surface.

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A 643 nm diode laser from Lasermate with a TTL


modulated intensity and optics to focus the beam on the
surface under study at the point of interest was used in the
present study. According to the ASTM G99-05 [6] standard,
the average roughness of the surface should be less than 0.8
m, so that nearly all the intensity of incident laser light is
reflected in the specular direction. Due to the wearing process,
the roughness of the disk surface changes, and so the intensity
of scattered light signal registered by the photodetector. The
LLS signal typically obtained is between 50 and 60 nA, and is
embedded within noise thousand times greater. Photodiodes
from OSRAM, model SFH296K with a radiant sensitive area
of 7 mm2 are used to register light in the range from 400 nm to
1100 nm.

the detection of the corresponding signal from the photo


detector. Modulating signal is sent to the laser and the result
from the photo-detector is collected through the ADC. Once
the signal has been processed, the I and Q values are obtained
and subsequently used to calculate magnitude and phase
of the detected signal by using the following equations:
,
The algorithm was implemented in the LabView
programming language using basic functions. The compiled
program was loaded to the FPGA LX45 that handles entirely
the processing at a speed of one hundred thousand samples per
second.
C. NI CompactRIO system

A CompactRIO from National Instruments, 9076 model


was used in the present study; this system consists of a Xillinx
LX45 FPGA, an Industrial 400MHz processor and 4 slots for
inserting expansion cards. In this case, we used the NI-9215
and NI-9403 expansion cards: NI-9215 provides four channels
for simultaneous acquisition of analog signals, at a speed of a
hundred thousand samples per second. The NI- 9403 card
provides 32 digital I/O channels, fully configurable, and a
time response of 8 s.
Three digital outputs are used to control a stepper motor
that produces linear motion of the platform with the
goniometer holding the system of scattered light, in this way
the wear track is scanned by the laser.
Two of the available analog channels are used to acquire
signals both, from the SFH296K photodiode, which is
digitally filtered, and from the commercial SR830 lock-in
amplifier. This simultaneous acquisition allows the direct
comparison between the two lock-in filters.

B. Lock-In Filtering System

The PSD technique has been widely used to discriminate


subtle signals immersed in noise. The principles and
theoretical foundations of the PSD technique can be found in
[5]. The basic principle is based on the orthogonality of the
sine functions. If two different frequency sine functions are
multiplied and then integrated into a much longer time period
to its result is zero; on the contrary if they have the same
frequency, the result is a constant whose value corresponds to
half the product of their amplitudes. Based on this principle
several filter configurations called lock-in filters or lock-in
amplifiers have been proposed [REFs]. Lock-in filters can be
implemented in analog, and digital form: the main advantage
of analog filters is its speed response, signal propagation times
(dead time) are on the order of nanoseconds, however they
have low noise immunity, bandwidths are relatively narrow,
and reconfiguration capability directly affects the price and
size of the circuit. Digital lock-in filters usually have signal
propagation delays on the order of microseconds but are
virtually immune to external noise, they can handle broad
bandwidths and reconfiguration capability is limited only by
the hardware [REFs].
There are different algorithms to implement digital lock-in
filters, in this work we decided to use the one shown in Figure
2.

D. Signal Conditioning Circuit

The signal conditioning circuit assembled to prepare and


amplify the signal registered by the photodiode is shown in
Figure 3.
CF
C6

RF 6.8pF
1.00M -12V
4

PHDiode_In_Cathode

0.1F

R3

2
1
3
8

+12V

TL082CP

R5
6.34k

U3A

2.15k

C5

U3B
To_NI-9215_and_SR830

R40.1F
487

7
5

TL082CP
8

Fig. 19. Signal conditioning circuit: on the left side is the trasconductance
amplifier, on the right side is the bandpass filter.

This circuit consists of two stages: the first stage is a


transconductance amplifier that transforms electrical current
from the photodiode into voltage signal on the order of
millivolts; the second stage is a bandpass filter that acts as an
anti-alias filter that prepares the analog signal to be digitized.
The output of this circuit is sent to the NI-9215 and the SR830
simultaneously.

Fig. 18. Digital lock-in filtered implemented in this work.

The algorithm generates the TTL signal which modulates


the laser light in phase with the sine and cosine waves used for
35

SR830 lock-in amplifier shows a slight delay due to the signal


propagation time.

The performance comparison of the commercial SR830


lock-in and the digital filter implemented in the CompactRIO
was done by scanning with the laser beam across a wear track
generated in the pin-on-disc tribometer. The scanning was
performed by means of the stepper motor which moves the
LLS system at constant speed of 1 mm/s. The output signal of
the conditioning circuit of Figure 3 was connected
simultaneously to the NI-9215 and the commercial SR830
lock-in, in this way, the same signal is processed by both
systems.

IV. CONCLUSION
The experimental results have shown that for the present
application, the lock-in digital filter implemented on the
FPGA can replace the commercial SR830 lock-in. The
advantage of having a lock-in filter running in the
CompactRIO is that it allows the integration of various other
functions and eliminates dependence on different devices for
the tribological tests.
Regarding costs: the SR830 lock-in amplifier is $5,545.00
USD equipment, while the CompactRIO costs about $2000.00
USD. Besides the CompactRIO unit will also integrate other
functions and enable the test automation.

III. RESULTS
Figure 4 shows the results of the transverse scan of a wear
track at a speed of 1 mm/s. The lock-in filters were adjusted to
a sensitivity of 1V and a 30ms time constant in the low-pass
filter.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This work was made possible by both: the Sabbatical Year
Program from the Direccin General de Educacin Superior
Tecnolgica (DGEST) and, financial support from the
Secretara de Investigacin y Posgrado-IPN.
REFERENCES
[1] V. Martnez-Fuentes, I. Domnguez-Lpez, A.L. Garca-Garca,
Surface texture changes followed-up in real time during the initial
wear transient of dry sliding of steel against several metals using laser
light scattering. Wear , vol. 271, pp. 994-998, Jun. 2011.
[2] V. Martnez-Fuentes, I. Domnguez-Lpez, A.L. Garca-Garca,
Modelo num rico de esparcimiento de luz lser en superficies
metlicas usando el mtodo de Monte Carlo. Rev. Sup. y Vaco, vol.
22 (2), pp. 29-35, Jun. 2009.
[3] J. D. Ortiz Alvarado, Desarrollo y Aplicacin de Instrumentacin para
la medicin de esparcimiento de luz lser, Doctoral Thesis Centro de
Investigacin en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnologa Aplicada Unidad
Quertaro, Quertaro, Mxico, Jun. 2010.
[4] I. Domnguez Lpez,. J. A. Huerta R,. R. I. Montes R, J. de D. Ortiz
A., J. Pichardo C., A. L. Garca G., Mediciones de cambio de
intensidad de luz l ser esparcida, aplicada al monitoreo de desgaste, in
Simposio de Metrologa 2006, paper 07, pp. 1-5.
[5] M.L. Meade, Lock-in Amplifiers: Principles and Applications, 1st ed.
Volume 1 of IEE electrical measurement series, 1983.
[6] ASTM G99-05. Standard Test Method for Wear Testing with a Pinon-Disk Apparatus. ASTM Standards, 2005.

Fig. 4. Wear track profiles measured using the LLS technique. A Comparison
of the FPGA and SR830 lock-in filters is presented.

The maximum value of LLS signal filtered in the FPGA is


1.06 times the maximum filtered by SR830 signal, while noise
amplitude in the signal filtered with the FPGA is 2.1 times
higher than that recorded by the SR830, however both filters
allow to distinguish clearly the wear track. Signal from the

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