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Proceedings Paper

Terrain modeling for real-time simulation
Author(s): Venkat Devarajan; Donald E. McArthur
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Paper Abstract

There are many applications, such as pilot training, mission rehearsal, and hardware-in-the- loop simulation, which require the generation of realistic images of terrain and man-made objects in real-time. One approach to meeting this requirement is to drape photo-texture over a planar polygon model of the terrain. The real time system then computes, for each pixel of the output image, the address in a texture map based on the intersection of the line-of-sight vector with the terrain model. High quality image generation requires that the terrain be modeled with a fine mesh of polygons while hardware costs limit the number of polygons which may be displayed for each scene. The trade-off between these conflicting requirements must be made in real-time because it depends on the changing position and orientation of the pilot's eye point or simulated sensor. The traditional approach is to develop a data base consisting of multiple levels of detail (LOD), and then selecting for display LODs as a function of range. This approach could lead to both anomalies in the displayed scene and inefficient use of resources. An approach has been developed in which the terrain is modeled with a set of nested polygons and organized as a tree with each node corresponding to a polygon. This tree is pruned to select the optimum set of nodes for each eye-point position. As the point of view moves, the visibility of some nodes drops below the limit of perception and may be deleted while new points must be added in regions near the eye point. An analytical model has been developed to determine the number of polygons required for display. This model leads to quantitative performance measures of the triangulation algorithm which is useful for optimizing system performance with a limited display capability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 1993
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1943, State-of-the-Art Mapping, (15 October 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.157161
Show Author Affiliations
Venkat Devarajan, Univ. of Texas/Arlington (United States)
Donald E. McArthur, Univ. of Texas/Arlington (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1943:
State-of-the-Art Mapping
Bill P. Clark; Andy Douglas; Bryan L. Foley; Brian Huberty; LeLand D. Whitmill, Editor(s)

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