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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Flight-appropriate 3D Terrain-rendering Toolkit for Synthetic Vision, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Flight-appropriate 3D Terrain-rendering Toolkit for Synthetic Vision, Phase II
The TerraBlocksTM 3D terrain data format and terrain-block-rendering methodology provides an enabling basis for successful commercial deployment of flight-appropriate and certifiable Synthetic Vision (SV) systems. The methodology focuses on mission-critical, real-time, embedded terrain rendering with emphasis on 1) efficient and compact terrain/texture dataset storage, 2) rendering accuracy, 3) rendering determinacy, and 4) a lightweight embedded computer and data storage platform. The innovation exploits the use of an encoded terrain data storage format coupled with real-time, terrain-block-based 3D rendering. The compact and efficient TerraBlocks encoded terrain data format inherently provides zero-error full-mesh near-field terrain data, powers-of-2 levels of detail, and data compression of full-mesh source terrain datasets. The TerraBlocks terrain block-based rendering provides deterministic render rates bounded by worst-case processing requirements, an on-the-sphere rendering model, and spatially-filtered, smoothly continuous, level-of-detail rendering. TerraBlocks technology closes the gap between existing visualization/simulation (VisSim) terrain-rendering approaches and the accuracy, performance, and platform demands of flight-deployable SV systems. The Phase I project conclusively showed the technical merit and feasibility of the TerraBlocks methodology. The Phase II project objective is to provide a flight-appropriate, research SV 3D terrain-rendering toolkit for NASA's Aviation Safety and Security Program (AvSSP) and the solid basis for Phase III, flight-certifiable SV avionics embodiments. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.