WP6: Performance specification

A performance specification is essential to provide a framework for all the technical activities to be undertaken during the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. The preparation of an initial performance specification was already undertaken at the start of the FP6-funded EISCAT_3D Design Study. This needs to be revisited and updated in the light of the Design Study findings, and kept under continuous review as the Preparatory Phase progresses. During this phase of the project, the trade-off between the desired system performance and the level of resources likely to be available to implement EISCAT_3D will become evident. In such a situation, a good definition of acceptable system performance will be essential in making decisions about what kind of system is actually likely to be implemented.

In addition to the specification of hardware performance, EISCAT_3D will also incorporate a range of new measurement principles made possible not only by the innovative phased array design, but also by the innovative types of signal processing, coding, data handling and data analysis which will be used on the new hardware. In order to optimise the benefit which the future users of EISCAT_3D can derive from these new possibilities, a handbook of measurement principles will be prepared, in order to outline the optimum strategies for the use of the new facility. This handbook will be used as the template framing the specification of the system software being developed in WP10, WP11, WP12 and WP13 and, in that sense, will complement the earlier specification which focused on hardware performance.

The main aims of this activity are:

  • Revisit the performance specification produced in the FP6 Design Study stage to take account of the Design Study findings and incorporate any ideas which have emerged since the end of the Design Study.
  • Produce a handbook of measurement principles, setting out how the system performance can be optimised by the application of innovative concepts in signal processing, coding, data handling and data analysis, which will be used thereafter as a framework for software and experiment development in EISCAT_3D.
  • Update and maintain the performance specification so that it provides a continuing resource for all of the technical work packages to determine details of acceptable system performance and hence define their required outputs.

The output of this package will be a set of performance specifications, covering all elements of the proposed system and capable of delivering the science goals defined in WP3. In particular, it will be ensured that these Work Packages provide input to WP14 on issues of reliability and quality control for components which are required to operate in large volumes.

Completing an initial version of the Project Specification Document will be the first task for the Technical Advisory Committee. The Performance Specification Document will be critical to some nationally-funded activities, and the leaders of these packages will be included in this consultation.