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A Portable PC-Based DSP Workstation for Bioacoustical Research [abstract]

G. Pavan (1992). A Portable PC-Based DSP Workstation for Bioacoustical Research [abstract]. Bioacoustics, Volume 4 (1): 65 -66



The special instrumental and financial requirements of bioacoustical research for low-cost, portable and easily configurable instrumentation, have encouraged the Center to develop suitable recording and analysis instruments. The developed workstation, based on a portable PC (16 MHz 803865X/80387, 120 Mb Hard Disk, 12Vcc powering) is actually configurable at two hardware levels: The basic level, supported by an AD/DA card (two input/output channels, 16-bit resolution, sampling frequencies 22050, 32000, 44100, 48000 s/s with on-board anti-aliasing filters) allows acquisition, hard disk storage, analysis, editing and play-back of audio signals (10 Hz-22.5kHz at 48000 s/s). The advanced level is supported by an AD/AD card (16 input and 2 output channels, 12-bit resolution sampling frequencies up to 235000 s/s on a single channel, with external anti-aliasing filters) equipped with a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) programmable for real-time acquisition and analysis of signals. Real-time analysis in continuous mode is performed up to 40000 s/s, while 200000 s/s can be reached in burst mode. Other than acquisition, storage and play-back of digitized signal, this level performs several tasks such as FIR filtering and real-time display of waveforms, envelopes and spectrograms. The acquisition tasks for both levels generate digital signal files for later processing. The software performs file handling and several analysis and display tasks: waveform, instantaneous spectra and cepstra, envelope, b&w and colour spectrograms, 3D spectra and waterfall, zero-crossing; editing and synthesis functions can also be performed. The workstation equipped with both cards, together with conventional recording equipment, covers a wide range of needs typical of bioacoustical studies; also new functions can be easily added. The workstation, widely employed in a variety of field and laboratory applications, can be connected to an analogous laboratory workstation interfaced to a Kay SonaGraph DSP 5500 and equipped with high-capacity optical disks, opening up the development of an interactive digital sound library. The development of these instruments is supported by grants from the Italian Ministero della Marina Mercantile.