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19 May 2006 Synthetic vision helicopter flights using high resolution LIDAR terrain data
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Helicopters are widely used for operations close to terrain such as rescue missions; therefore all-weather capabilities are highly desired. To minimize or even avoid the risk of collision with terrain and obstacles, Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) could be used to increase situational awareness. In order to demonstrate this, helicopter flights have been performed in the area of Zurich, Switzerland A major component of an SVS is the three-dimensional (3D) depiction of terrain data, usually presented on the primary flight display (PFD). The degree of usability in low level flight applications is a function of the terrain data quality. Today's most precise, large scale terrain data are derived from airborne laser scanning technologies such as LIDAR (light detection and ranging). A LIDAR dataset provided by Swissphoto AG, Zurich with a resolution of 1m was used. The depiction of high resolution terrain data consisting of 1 million elevation posts per square kilometer on a laptop in an appropriate area around the helicopter is challenging. To facilitate the depiction of the high resolution terrain data, it was triangulated applying a 1.5m error margin making it possible to depict an area of 5x5 square kilometer around the helicopter. To position the camera correctly in the virtual scene the SVS had to be supplied with accurate navigation data. Highly flexible and portable measurement equipment which easily could be used in most aircrafts was designed. Demonstration flights were successfully executed in September, October 2005 in the Swiss Alps departing from Zurich.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
A. Sindlinger, M. Meuter, N. Barraci, M. Güttler, U. Klingauf, J. Schiefele, and D. Howland "Synthetic vision helicopter flights using high resolution LIDAR terrain data", Proc. SPIE 6226, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2006, 622602 (19 May 2006);

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