The Department has an enviable collection of facilities for advanced research in systems and computer engineering. There are over 1000 engineering workstations and PCs using a variety of operating systems (primarily Linux and Windows), computing clusters, numerous items of specialized equipment, and extensive collections of advanced software. Some highlights of our research facilities are outlined below, grouped by area of research.
Systems and Machine Intelligence Laboratories
The specialized research facilities in this area are part of two labs:
The robotics lab supports research in adaptive and learning robots, unmanned vehicle systems, vision and environmental sensing, and embedded microcontroller systems. Experimental equipment in the lab includes the following items:
Multiple unmanned vehicle systems, including
- many mobile robots controlled by Arduino and HC11 microcontrollers,
- BUG – a three-wheeled mobile robot,
- TART, a skid-steered tracked mobile robot, etc.
- Multiple oscilloscopes, signal generators, miscellaneous power supplies, prototyping stations, fabrication and testing tools,
- Various cameras and frame-grabber systems,
- A large collection of motors, sensors, power conditioning units, electronic components and supplies – a roboticists dream.
Advanced Real-Time Simulation Laboratory
The Advanced Real-Time Simulation Lab consists of a high-performance computing platform (64 high-speed processors linked with a very high speed interconnect) to support an advanced RT simulation engine (including AD/DA interfaces and graphics workstations for human interaction).
This equipment is devoted to research into real-time modelling and simulation and is used study the creation and execution of very large and complex models with strong timing requirements, and interfaces to the external world including hardware devices. It also provides 3D visualization facilities.
The infrastructure is a specialized computing facility and can be divided into four discrete components:
- A high speed network of powerful PC nodes to support an advanced real-time simulation engine, to run the simulations and to experiment with modelling techniques with real-time constraints.
- AD and DA interfaces to connect the models to artificial environments reproducing prototypes of real applications (e.g. manufacturing plants, robots, automotive systems, etc.).
- VR and graphics workstations to provide a human interface to running models and simulations.
- Development workstations.
Part of the equipment has been integrated into a new Cell-BE cluster including 7 QS22 blades.
The lab also has different embedded systems equipment including:
- Two Ipaq 2750
- Two AMPRO boards (Intel P4)
- Amiryx FPGA board
- Five RadiSys ENP-2611 boards with Intel IXA 2400 NP
- MindStorm Robotics Sets
- Four e-Puck robots
Biomedical Engineering Laboratories
Haptics and Teleoperation Laboratory
This lab supports research in the areas of real-time and interactive networked systems, haptics, virtual reality, robotics and teleoperation with applications to telemedicine, surgical simulation and robotic/tele-surgery. Specialized equipment includes:
- two PHANToM Premium 1.5A haptic robots,
- one PeopleBot mobile robot,
- one SGI graphic workstation,
- a number of specialized force sensing and networking devices,
- Dell workstations.
Carleton University Biomedical Engineering (CUBE) Research Laboratory
This lab has a variety of specialized biomedical engineering sensors and measurement equipment, including:
- Medical ultrasound imaging with linear and convex probes
- Ultrasonic measurements with a mechanical 3D scanner
- Electrical impedance tomography imaging system from lead groups/companies in the field (Cardinal Health, Goe MFII; Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Sigmatome II; Uni Cape Town; Swisstom, Mark I)
- Sixteen channel Grass-Telefactor biological signal acquisition system capable of collecting various biological signals, such as electromyograms, electrocardiograms, electroencelphograms, and electroneurograms
- Bruker Minspec NMR spectrometer capable of bulk NMR relaxometry and diffusometry measurements
- bioimpedance measurement system consisting of a frequency response analyzer (Model 1255A, Solartron Analytical) and an impedance interface (Model 1294A, Solartron Analytical)
- Equipment for physiology and respiratory monitoring, including total body plethysmography is available.
- AlphaMOS electronic nose system, consisting of the FOX and KRONOS technologies (Metal Oxide Sensor array system and Fingerprint Mass Spectrometry, respectively), with an autosampler.
- High-power workstations available for graduate students, including a number of GPU-multicore systems for acceleration of biomedical informatics computing
- High end measurement equipment (e.g., oscilloscopes from National Instruments and Tektronics)
Biomedical Engineering Laboratory
This lab has 12 stations, equipped with CleveMed BioRadio 150 systems; a compact, wireless, 14-channel data acquisition device for measuring physiological signals. The hardware is comprised of 6 pre-set inputs and 8 programmable channels which can be configured to measure any physiological signal, such as electrical activity from the heart, brain and muscle as well as transducer inputs such as respiration, force and blood pressure. Four prototyping stations are present, which include National Instruments PXI instruments for testing and measurements.
Digital and Wireless Communications Laboratories
These labs provide the space and resources required to carry out research in the general area of communications with emphasis on the lower level protocol layers. In addition to the computing facilities, there are two specialized labs: a mobile computing lab and a radio communications lab. A brief description of each is provided below:
Mobile Computing Laboratory
Besides PCs, which are used for software development and simulation work (mostly using NS2), we have a number of devices with wireless/IEEE 802.11 based equipment:
- 6 laptops,
- 4 iPaq PDAs,
- 5 custom-build mesh nodes.
- A wireless MESH test bed for protocol validation. The MESH nodes are based on Intel IXP 425 NPUs, with two 802.11 a/b/g radios, running a stripped-down version of Linux.
The lab also has a patch panel that connects the GBIC (GigaBit Interface Converter) to the NCIT Net to facilitate joint research with other researchers in Ottawa.
Radio Communications Laboratory
This lab provides test and measurement equipment needed for channel sounding experiments in frequency bands from 400 MHz up to 60 GHz, and allows for testing of specialized radio transceivers and antennas. The lab has evolved over a 20 year period and contains several custom-built experimental setups. Major equipment includes:
- 29 GHz indoor channel sounding system
- 2.4 GHz 4-channel tx/rx measurement system
- HP 7000 Microwave/mm-wave spectrum analysis system
- Low frequency (up to 3 ghz) spectrum analyzers
- Vectror network analyzer (10 khz-6ghz)
- Digital storage oscilloscopes ( up to 2 gs/s)
- Data generators, frequency counters.. etc
Computer and Software Engineering Laboratories
Facilities for research in the area of computers and software engineering are divided among several labs as follows:
The Software Quality Engineering Laboratory (SQUALL)
The Software Quality Engineering Laboratory (SQUALL) is an industry-oriented software engineering research laboratory with an overall objective to develop new methodologies and tools to develop higher quality software in a cost-effective manner.
The Real Time and Distributed Systems (RADS) Lab
The Real Time and Distributed Systems (RADS) Lab is one of the key Organized Research Units of Carleton University. The members are actively involved in research on performance, modelling, system optimization, software engineering, resource management, distributed systems security and mobile and wireless systems. The group uses an infrastructure of computing facilities as well specialized wired and wireless networks for protocol evaluation (e.g. a Myrinet-based 32 node cluster wireless network coupled with a wired network).
The Network Management and Artificial Intelligence Lab
The Network Management and Artificial Intelligence Lab is used by graduate students conducting research in advanced network management models and services.
Nortel Advanced Software Engineering Research and Teaching (ASERT)
The Nortel Advanced Software Engineering Research and Teaching (ASERT) Laboratory was donated to the department by Nortel Networks and Telelogic. The total value of this donation is approximately $3,400,000. It runs the Telelogic Tau development environment, based on the SDL formalism, to develop real-time and distributed systems.
The Integrated Systems Inc (ISI) Laboratory
The Integrated Systems Inc (ISI) Laboratory includes 60 copies of the ISI development software for the design of real-time embedded software systems (pRISM+, pSOS+, pROBE+, etc.). This is leading-edge software for the design and analysis of real-time embedded software. The ISI lab also includes the Matrix Software.
Signal Speech and Image Processing Laboratories
Facilities for research in this area are divided among several labs as follows:
March Networks, Mitel Networks and Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) VoIP Lab
March Networks, Mitel Networks and Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) VoIP Lab is based on the Mitel Integrated Communications Platform (ICP3200). The lab has 20 development stations; ADI Circuit Emulators (ICE) and speech quality analyzers. The research work investigates the impact of the VoIP on the speech quality.
The Audio Signal Processing Lab
The Audio Signal Processing Lab has state of the art audio and speech processing equipment including DSP boards, multi-channel audio acquisition and storage devices, and microphone arrays.
Texas Instruments Embedded Processing Lab
Texas Instruments named Carleton University as part of their ELITE DSP Lab program. This lab includes 20 DSP development systems for 3 types of processors: TI-TMS320C54x, C62xx, and C6711.
Computer Communications Networks Laboratories
Facilities for research in this area are divided among several labs as follows:
Broadband Networks Laboratory
The Broadband Networks Laboratory is involved in research for internet networks/technologies, optical networks and wireless packet ring networks. The lab has a prototype optical switching and an IDT ATM evaluation platform for practical measurements and experimentation. It also has a Crossbow Mote Kit for experimentation in the area of Sensor Networks using the Tiny OS operating system.
Optical Networks Laboratory
The Optical Networks Laboratory is the first fully in-house laboratory dedicated to research on optical network architectures. It integrates state-of-the-art photonic switches with electronic routers and switches. The equipment includes: 4 OMM 8X8 -2 Photonic Switches Packed by Nortel. 4 Nortel Passport 8600 Switches. 4 Nortel BayStack Switches.
The TeleLearning Research Laboratory
The TeleLearning Research Laboratory comprises three major components: the Tele-Presence Laboratory, connections to OCRINET and extensive desktop video conferencing facilities.