This Report was presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Austin in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science in Engineering


Real-Time Sonar Beamforming on a Symmetric Multiprocessing UNIX Workstation Using Process Networks and POSIX Pthreads 


Gregory Eugene Allen, M.S.E.

The University of Texas at Austin, 1998


Supervisor: Brian L. Evans

Reader: Craig M. Chase


Traditionally, expensive custom hardware has been required to implement data-intensive sonar beamforming algorithms in real-time. We develop a sonar beamformer in software by merging the following recent technologies: (1) symmetric multiprocessing on Unix workstations, (2) lightweight POSIX threads, and (3) the Process Network model of computation. We find that it is feasible for a 4-GFLOP digital interpolation Process Network beamformer to run in real-time on a Sun workstation with 16 UltraSPARC-II processors running at 336 MHz. The workstation beamformer significantly reduces cost and development time over an equivalent custom hardware beamformer.

This document is available in PDF format.


For more information contact: Greg Allen <gallen AT arlut DOT utexas DOT edu>