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2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

Development of Image Reconstruction Using FPGA


Siti Zarina Mohd Muji, Rahman Amirulah and Ruzairi Abdul Rahim
Radzi Ambar Faculty of Electrical Engineering,
Embedded Computing System (EmbCoS) Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
Research Focus Group, Skudai, Johor
Department of Computer Engineering, ruzairi@fke.utm.my
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia,
Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mohd Hafiz Fazalul Rahiman,
86400 Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor School of Mechatronic Engineering,
szarina@uthm.edu.my, rahman.amirulah@gmail.com, Universiti Malaysia Perlis,
aradzi@uthm.edu.my Pauh Putra Campus, 02600 Arau, Perlis
hafiz@unimap.edu.my

Abstract—This paper presents the development of image This paper will address three research problems. The first is
reconstruction for optical tomography using Field a real industry problem on how to solve problem occur in
Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) board, DE0 Nano. This industrial pipeline flow using optical tomography. The second
design eliminated the need of computer in image reconstruction is how to improve image reconstruction performance using
stage. Therefore, this will simplify the overall design, where the
image will be displayed on an Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) only
tomography, as the use of the existing image reconstruction
and this could make the system more portable compare to the algorithms are still producing poor performance compared to
existing design of an optical tomography system. Experimental the original object. The third is related to analogue issue while
result shows that the developed system can process image in real using microcontroller.
time as the FPGA is a type of parallel computation controller. Tomography system becomes important in the industry
since the system can monitor without intruding and invading
Index Terms—Optical tomography, FPGA, DE0 Nano, image the object or particle conveyed in material distribution line [4].
reconstruction According to Khairi et al., tomography is used in solid and gas
industries in order to increase the efficiency and productivity
I. INTRODUCTION of the process by detecting any problem in process function
Nowadays, tomography has become a popular research [5]. Therefore, simple system is necessary to monitor the
topic due to its significance to the industry where tomography process and avoid any disturbance in the process. This system
can pave the way for investigation of internal structures of a gives many advantages such as safety, less complicated,
vessel without the need to invade it [1]. The word tomography inexpensive and straightforward. From research conducted by
is derived from the Greek word tomos means a section, while Shaib et al., optical tomography system can produce high
the word graphy means image. Tomography has been applied resolution image even with low penetration capabilities [6].
successfully in industrial and medical field. Moreover, this system is more preferable than electrical
However, there are different techniques involved depending properties. The electrical properties manipulation is not
on the different aims of the application. For example, in the suitable since it shows low spatial distribution even with
industrial field, the purpose of tomography is to measure the higher penetration factor.
location, concentration, phase proportions and velocity of The main principle of measurement in tomography is to
movement. It has been widely used in industrial field since it obtain all the possible combinations of measurements from the
is proven to be a reliable method for industrial imaging sensor system by using switch mode measurement. This
application. Tomography for application in industrial field is principle of measurement is capable to increase the flow
known as Industrial Process Tomography (IPT) or simply as visualization resolution in the pipeline [2]. There are certain
Process Tomography (PT) [2]. criteria need to be considered before developing the process
Process tomography evolved in the late 1980s for direct tomography system in real time, which are the hardware
analysis, internal characteristics of process plants in process performance, signal interfacing performance and software
instrumentation in order to utilize resources more efficiently, algorithm performance.
enhance product quality and others. As a solution, process For software algorithm performance, the most popular
tomography has been suggested to achieve it. This is due to algorithm for image reconstruction is Linear Back Projection
tomographic imaging of objects can monitor complexities of (LBP) algorithm. Research conducted by Rahiman et al. [7]
the structure. It is also capable to monitor speed and direction stated that LBP can cause blurring image. Measurement
of material in real time [3]. results showed that blurring image causing high area error

978-1-5090-1178-0/16 /$31.00 ©2016 IEEE 16


2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

(AE) in every measurement taken. Meanwhile, a research the image processing. The implementation on DSP platform is
conducted by Muji et al. [1] concluded that LBP produces fast outstanding in speed compared to the FPGA for processing a
speed images, but lack in term of resolution. Several single pixel of data. However, FPGA based hardware
researchers have used a new method by modifying the LBP to implementation have the upper hand especially from the high
solve these problems such as applied Hybrid image parallelism in the algorithm and the moderate number
reconstruction algorithm in order to avoid ambiguous effect or precision required to preserve the qualitative effects of the
smearing effect. However the new algorithm still has a mathematical models. Furthermore, different variants of
problem which is slower data processing. Therefore, this algorithm can be supported on the same hardware by
research will use LBP algorithm with a new technique for uploading a new programming onto the FPGA.
multiplying between sensor loss value and sensitivity maps. Other than FPGA, some researcher also has been
From the previous research, the analogue type has been implementing image reconstruction algorithm on General
used in data acquisition system. This analogue type is less Purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPGPU) [11]. The
efficient and the performance is quiet slow. Thus, it is not GPGPU system is similar to the DSP platform which provides
suitable for implementation in industrial pipeline which has high speed processing for single pixels compared to FPGA.
dynamic flow characteristic. Furthermore, research conducted However, because of the parallelism processing and
by Zhang et al. on electrical resistance tomography concluded performance provided by FPGA for image processing is much
that analogue design is associated with problem such as noise better than GPGPU, the selected main processing system for
and component mismatching [8]. Moreover, analogue devices this project is FPGA.
also can cause limitation of speed due to factors such as In this research study, the FPGA is programmed to perform
switching transients, multiplexing overhead and conversion tasks such as light projection controller, data acquisition
delay. To improve the performance, the device is designed to memory buffer, fixed pixel value for horizontal and vertical
have a comparator at the receiver, therefore the circuit will projection for image reconstruction process and video display
produce the digital value of 0 or 1. This will eliminate the controller.
need for analogue to digital conversion which would increase
the speed of processing of data.
Digital design utilizing Field Programmable Gate Array III. OPTICAL TOMOGRAPHY DESIGN
(FPGA) is capable to provide powerful computation ability The work undertakes in this research involves three
with parallel computational implementation compared with important parts. It consists of several important elements
the traditional instruction driven digital signal processing which are a combination of sensors unit, main processing unit
(DSP) processor. Furthermore, DSP is less suitable in optical and display unit. Figure 1illustrates the overall system design
tomography since it has narrow bandwidth and long settling for optical tomography using FPGA.
time. Thus, it will limit improvement in both data acquisition
rate and precision. An FPGA chip offers a better advantage in
this system such as higher bandwidth and can design specific
optimized hardware to implement specific algorithm.
In this paper, the projection data are obtained from parallel
projection and is fed into FPGA for further process of
tomographic reconstruction. Real-time experiments show that
our system improves the time for reconstructing the image
compare to previous research by Shaib [6] and Muji [9].
This paper is organized as follows; in section II, this paper
describes the proposed methodology. Then, optical
tomography design is explained in section III. Finally, results
and discussion are explained in section IV.
Fig. 1. Overall system design

II. METHODOLOGY In this system, the number of light emitting diodes (LEDs)
sensor pairs are 40 which are attached into its specially
The most important part in this research study is the main
designed fixture. Altera FPGA was selected as the main
processing unit. In the selection of main processing unit for
processing unit to control the transmitter sensor to emit a
the development of digital system, there are a lot of digital
pulse, and the receiver sensors received the light projection.
integrated circuits can be considered in the implementation of
The signals are detected by receiving sensors and fed to a
image reconstruction algorithm. The implementation of the
signal conditioning unit which is comparator circuit. In the
algorithm into system varies from DSP, FPGA and ASICs
signal conditioning unit, the receiving data are amplified to get
[10]. ASICs based systems give the highest performance,
the required value which is 3.3V in this case. Therefore, the
however the design based on ASICs is expensive and also the
data received by the FPGA are high (3.3V) and low (0V). The
integrated circuit is not reprogrammable. Most image
receiving data from sensors will be continually feed into the
processing designs use DSP and FPGA system platforms for
FPGA in real-time. In the image reconstruction process, the

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2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

data fed into FPGA will be used to reconstruct the image B. Display Unit
before being displayed on the monitor. The VGA controller allows the designer to display the
In order to develop an optical tomography system on reconstructed image on a Multi Touch LCD (MTL) such as in
FPGA, there are several parameters on the algorithm that need Fig. 4.
to be modified to make the implementation easier. In this
work, the pixels values are being controlled by two
projections, which are horizontal and vertical. The pixels IV. RESULT AND DISCUSSION
value in each projection either horizontal or vertical is fixed to Several tests have been carried out to test the transmitter
127. The reconstructed image depends on the addition result and receiver circuit and pulse signal. The signal received has
of horizontal and vertical projections. For examples, if the been amplified by using an op-amp TLE2141. The pulse
sensor pathway does not have obstacle in between, the signal given to transmitter was 33kHz with time period
receiver will provide high (1) value to activate the pixels 30.3µs. With pulse signal function, switching process can be
values which are 127 (Gray) on the projection pathway. If the activated at different time. Thus, the receiver circuit can avoid
pixels values are added for horizontal and vertical projection, from responding to any unwanted signals.
the pixels value will be 127 + 127 = 254 which display white
colour on the LCD. Otherwise, if there is object or obstacle on
the sensor pathway, the receiver value is low (0) and the pixels
value on the sensor pathway are sets as zero (0). These pixels
values of 0 through the sensor pathway makes the image
appear with the total of horizontal and vertical projection
become zero where the LCD display shows black colour
images. These phenomena are shown on Fig. 2.

Total H+V: Horizontal:


Blocked Blocked
Pixel = 0 Pixel = 127

No obstacle Vertical:
Pixel = 254 Blocked
Pixel = 127
Fig. 3. VGA controller design symbol
Fig. 2. Reconstructed image

A. Display Controller
Another important controller used in this research is the
Video Graphics Array (VGA) controller. This controller is
needed to control the pixels data loads form the temporary
memory of the reconstructed images to be displayed. Figure 3
shows the VGA controller to display the image on the
monitor. The VGA controller used in this design will send the
RGB values for each pixel. Since the image to be displayed is
in gray scale format, therefore the value for each component
of RGB will be the same. As an example, if the pixel colour is
black, all RGB colour component should have 0 while the
white colour pixel have 255 in each RGB colour components. Fig. 4. Displayed reconstructed image on MTL

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2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

A. Pulse signal
The pulse signal was given to transmitter circuit in order to
make the IR LED in sequential circuit. The pulse signal was
generated by using Altera DE2 115. The VHSIC Hardware
Description Language (VHDL) was used in order to design
the pulse signal, while Quartus II was used to simulate the
program.
There are several factors need to be considered during the
design of the pulse signal. The code structure of VHDL must
have three elements which are library declaration, entity and
architecture.
Figure 5 shows the block diagram for pulse signal. The
entity name of this program is pulse_5clk. It has four inputs Fig. 5. Pulse signal block diagram
and one output which is pulse. The clock given to this design
is 50. From the one shot pulse signal, it shows the pulse was
high when go was high, and it will change to low whenever go
is low. It will stop when stop is high and vice versa. Pulse PCB Board for
remains high for 5 clock cycles unless stop is set to high. transmitter

B. System Setting
The DE0 Nano is being used as a controller to receive the
voltage data from the receiver. The voltage then will be
manipulated to get the image reconstruction. The overall
system setup is shown at Fig. 6, where it contains the DE0
Nano, pipeline prototype and PCB board for transmitter and
receiver circuit. Pipeline

C. Image Result Transmitter


Multi touch DE0 Nano and receiver
Figure 7 and 8 show the results of image reconstruction that
LCD Board location
was obtained when there are objects located inside the
prototype pipeline system. Figure 7 shows an object located in
the pipeline. While Fig. 8 shows two objects located inside the Fig. 6. Overall system setup
pipeline. The images have been reconstructed based on the
hardware setup using Linear Back Projection (LBP). .
Based on the results, objects can be monitored in real time,
an advantage of the proposed method which cannot be done
by previous researchers such as in [1] and [6]. In these V. CONCLUSION
previous researches, real time monitoring was not the focus of In summary, FPGA is a suitable controller to collect the
studies as they were only focusing on image improvement data from sensors and at the same time it is used to reconstruct
methods. In this research, FPGA as a main controller can the image reconstruction. The result shows real time
implement parallel processing which make the system capable monitoring can be done using FPGA as a controller as it can
to acquire data faster compared to other controllers such as the process the data in parallel.
one utilized in [1] and [6]. Based on the test findings, for one
object in pipeline, the image reconstruction shows the same
location with the actual physical location of the object. While
for two objects that located at different line of sensors’ ACKNOWLEDGMENT
position, the image reconstruction shows ambiguity where it This research was conducted with the financial support by
seem there are four objects in the pipe. However for two the Incentive Grant Scheme for Publication (IGSP), Universiti
objects that located in same line of sensors’ position, the Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Vot Number U407.
image reconstruction shows the same position and have the
same number of object in the image.
.

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2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

pipeline object
pipeline
object

(a) (a)

(b) (b)

pipeline pipeline object


object

(c) (c)

(d) (d)
Fig. 7. One object at different location in the pipeline. (a) and (c): Fig. 8. Two objects in the pipeline. (a) and (c): Images from
Images from the real pipeline, (b) and (d): image reconstruction the real pipeline, (b) and (d): image reconstruction displayed
displayed on Multi Touch LCD on Multi Touch LCD

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2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Control System, Computing and Engineering, 25–27 November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

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