11 August 2004 An X-band radar terrain feature detection method for low-altitude SVS operations and calibration using lidar
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Abstract
To enable safe use of Synthetic Vision Systems at low altitudes, real-time range-to-terrain measurements may be required to ensure the integrity of terrain models stored in the system. This paper reviews and extends previous work describing the application of x-band radar to terrain model integrity monitoring. A method of terrain feature extraction and a transformation of the features to a common reference domain are proposed. Expected error distributions for the extracted features are required to establish appropriate thresholds whereby a consistency-checking function can trigger an alert. A calibration-based approach is presented that can be used to obtain these distributions. To verify the approach, NASA's DC-8 airborne science platform was used to collect data from two mapping sensors. An Airborne Laser Terrain Mapping (ALTM) sensor was installed in the cargo bay of the DC-8. After processing, the ALTM produced a reference terrain model with a vertical accuracy of less than one meter. Also installed was a commercial-off-the-shelf x-band radar in the nose radome of the DC-8. Although primarily designed to measure precipitation, the radar also provides estimates of terrain reflectivity at low altitudes. Using the ALTM data as the reference, errors in features extracted from the radar are estimated. A method to estimate errors in features extracted from the terrain model is also presented.
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Steven D. Young, Maarten Uijt de Haag, Jacob Campbell, "An X-band radar terrain feature detection method for low-altitude SVS operations and calibration using lidar", Proc. SPIE 5424, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2004, (11 August 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.542452; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.542452
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