Flight data recorders (FDRs) play a critical role in determining root causes of military aviation mishaps. Some United States Air Force (USAF) aircraft record limited amounts of information during flight (e.g. T-1 Jayhawk), while others have no FDR on board the aircraft (B-52 Stratofortress). This study explores the use of image-based flight data recording to overcome a lack of available digitally-recorded FDR data. In this work, images of simulated cockpit gauges were unwrapped vertically, and 2-D cross-correlation was performed on each image of the unwrapped gauge and an template of the unwrapped gauge needle. Points of high correlation between the two images were used to locate the gauge needle, and interpolation and extrapolation were performed (based on known pixel locations of gauge tick marks) to quantify the value to which the gauge needle pointed. Results suggest that image-based flight data recording could provide key support to USAF mishap investigations when aircraft lack sufficient FDR data.
Abby L. Bassie, Dale W. Carter, Jeffrey Barnette, and Robert J. Moorhead, "Image-based flight data recording for United States Air Force aircraft," Proc. SPIE 10649, Pattern Recognition and Tracking XXIX, 1064905 (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 18, 2018; Published: 27 April 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2299851.
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