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Proceedings Paper

Smart camera system for aircraft and spacecraft
Author(s): Francisco J. Delgado; Janis White; Michael F. Abernathy
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a new approach to situation awareness that combines video sensor technology and synthetic vision technology in a unique fashion to create a hybrid vision system. Our implementation of the technology, called "SmartCam3D" (SCS3D) has been flight tested by both NASA and the Department of Defense with excellent results. This paper details its development and flight test results. Windshields and windows add considerable weight and risk to vehicle design, and because of this, many future vehicles will employ a windowless cockpit design. This windowless cockpit design philosophy prompted us to look at what would be required to develop a system that provides crewmembers and operations personnel an appropriate level of situation awareness. The system created to date provides a real-time 3D perspective display that can be used during all-weather and visibility conditions. While the advantages of a synthetic vision only system are considerable, the major disadvantage of such a system is that it displays the synthetic scene created using “static” data acquired by an aircraft or satellite at some point in the past. The SCS3D system we are presenting in this paper is a hybrid synthetic vision system that fuses live video stream information with a computer generated synthetic scene. This hybrid system can display a dynamic, real-time scene of a region of interest, enriched by information from a synthetic environment system, see figure 1. The SCS3D system has been flight tested on several X-38 flight tests performed over the last several years and on an ARMY Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ground control station earlier this year. Additional testing using an assortment of UAV ground control stations and UAV simulators from the Army and Air Force will be conducted later this year. We are also identifying other NASA programs that would benefit from the use of this technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 September 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5081, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2003, (23 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484801
Show Author Affiliations
Francisco J. Delgado, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Janis White, Rapid Imaging Software, Inc. (United States)
Michael F. Abernathy, Rapid Imaging Software, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5081:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2003
Jacques G. Verly, Editor(s)

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