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Video Altimeter and Obstruction Detector for an AircraftVideo-based altimetric and obstruction detection systems for aircraft have been partially developed. The hardware of a system of this type includes a downward-looking video camera, a video digitizer, a Global Positioning System receiver or other means of measuring the aircraft velocity relative to the ground, a gyroscope based or other attitude-determination subsystem, and a computer running altimetric and/or obstruction-detection software. From the digitized video data, the altimetric software computes the pixel velocity in an appropriate part of the video image and the corresponding angular relative motion of the ground within the field of view of the camera. Then by use of trigonometric relationships among the aircraft velocity, the attitude of the camera, the angular relative motion, and the altitude, the software computes the altitude. The obstruction-detection software performs somewhat similar calculations as part of a larger task in which it uses the pixel velocity data from the entire video image to compute a depth map, which can be correlated with a terrain map, showing locations of potential obstructions. The depth map can be used as real-time hazard display and/or to update an obstruction database.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Delgado, Frank J.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Abernathy, Michael F.
(Rapid Imaging Software, Inc. Albuquerque, NM, United States)
White, Janis
(Rapid Imaging Software, Inc. Albuquerque, NM, United States)
Dolson, William R.
(Rapid Imaging Software, Inc. Albuquerque, NM, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 2013
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, May 2013
Subject Category
Avionics And Aircraft Instrumentation
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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