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Proceedings Paper

From digital elevation model data to terrain depiction data
Author(s): Arnd Helmetag; Guillaume Smietanski; Michael Baumgart; Wolfgang Kubbat
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Paper Abstract

The analysis of accidents focused our work on the avoidance of 'Controlled Flight Into Terrain' caused by insufficient situation awareness. Analysis of safety concepts led us to the design of the proposed synthetic vision system that will be described. Since most information on these 3D-Displays is shown in a graphical way, it can intuitively be seized by the pilot. One key element of SVS is terrain depiction, that is the topic of this paper. Real time terrain depiction has to face two requirements. On the one hand spatial awareness requires recognition of synthetic environment demanding characteristics. On the other hand the number of rendered polygons has to be minimized due to limitations of real time image generation performance. Visual quality can significantly be enhanced if equidistant data like Digital Elevation Model data (DEM) are vectorized. One method of data vectorization will be explained in detail and advantages will be mentioned. In Virtual Reality (VR) applications, conventional decimation software degrades the visual quality of geometry that is compensated by complex textures and lighting. Since terrain decimated with those tools looses its characteristics, and textures are not acceptable for several reasons, a terrain specific decimation has to be performed. How can a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) be decimated without decreasing the visualization value? In this paper, extraction of terrain characteristics and adapted decimation will be proposed. Steps from DEM to Terrain Depiction Data (TDD) are discussed in detail.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3691, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 1999, (19 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354431
Show Author Affiliations
Arnd Helmetag, Darmstadt Univ. of Technology (Germany)
Guillaume Smietanski, Darmstadt Univ. of Technology (Germany)
Michael Baumgart, Karlsruhe Univ. of Technology (Germany)
Wolfgang Kubbat, Darmstadt Univ. of Technology (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3691:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 1999
Jacques G. Verly, Editor(s)

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