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Proceedings Paper

Advanced airborne 3D computer image generation systems technologies for the year 2000
Author(s): Alan L. Bridges
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Paper Abstract

An airborne 3-D computer image generation system (CIGS) is a modular avionics box that receives commands from and sends status information to other avionics units. The CIGS maintains a large amount of data in secondary storage systems and simultaneously drives several display units. Emerging requirements for CIGS include: advanced avionics system architecture requirements and BIT/fault tolerance; real-time operating systems and graphic interface languages in Ada; and geometric/pixel processing functions, rendering system, and frame buffers/display controllers for pictorial displays. In addition, podded sensors (FLIR, LLTV, radar, etc.) will require multiplexing of high-resolution sensor video with graphics overlays. A combination of head-down AMLCD flat panels, helmet-mounted display (HMD), and Head-Up Display (HUD) will require highly parallel graphics generation technology. Generation of high-resolution, real-time 2-D/3-D displays with anti-aliasing, transparency, shading, and motion, however, emphasizes compute-intensive processing. High-performance graphics engines, powerful floating point processors, and parallel architectures are needed to increase the rendering speed, functionality and reliability, while reducing power, space requirements, and cost. The CIGS of the future will feature special high speed busses geared toward real-time graphics processing. The CIG system will be multi-channel, will have a high addressable resolution to drive HUD, 3-D displays in 4-pi-steradian virtual space, and 3-D panoramic displays; and will include fiber optics video distribution between CIG and display units. The head-down display (HDD) is by far the most complex display in that both background and overlay display elements are required. The background is usually generated from terrain/cultural features data. Terrain data is used to generate 2-D map backgrounds or 3-D perspective views duplicating or substituting for the pilot's out-the-window view. Performance of 150,000 to 500,000 3-D triangles/second is needed. Gouraud shading, ambient-diffuse lighting models, and anti-aliasing are required. For the year 2000, a single large and very high-resolution display surface covering the entire instrument panel is required.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1992
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1694, Sensors and Sensor Systems for Guidance and Navigation II, (1 July 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.138126
Show Author Affiliations
Alan L. Bridges, SCI Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1694:
Sensors and Sensor Systems for Guidance and Navigation II
Sharon S. Welch, Editor(s)

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