21 May 2015 Data fusion for a degraded visual environment solution
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Abstract
An effective Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) solution integrates and displays data from a number of complimentary sources. The visualization backbone is a Synthetic Vision System (SVS) using an up-to-date synthetic terrain database with high resolution elevation data for the immediate DVE area, enhanced by recent high-resolution photo imagery of the area draped over the 3D terrain. Effectiveness is further enhanced by displaying 3D structure and vegetation models derived from on-board sources such as cultural feature and obstacle databases, or in real time from off-board sources such as data-linked traffic, reconnaissance, or forward-observer reports. The full solution incorporates real-time sensor data processed to identify vertical obstacles (such as towers), horizontal obstacles (wires), and three-dimensional obstacles (buildings), positioned on the synthetic terrain in their detected positions. The sensors may be on board the aircraft, but such interpreted data may also be relayed from a remote source that is viewing the DVE area. Actual sensor imagery can be merged with the synthetic view so that the sensor imagery and underlying SVS terrain are viewed together. Lastly, how the fused data is presented affects the aircrew’s ability to intuitively grasp the situation in the DVE area. An external wingman view shows the situation all around the aircraft rather than just in front. When the SVS is integrated with a helmet-mounted display system, it is possible to provide virtual "x-ray" vision by providing the fused synthetic view even when the actual view is obscured by the airframe.
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Noah Baird, Michael Crisafulli, "Data fusion for a degraded visual environment solution", Proc. SPIE 9471, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2015, 947108 (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177118; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2177118
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