Dynamic LADAR Terrain Generation System for Multi-ship Rotorcraft Brown-out Landings
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-152
Topic Title: Dynamic LADAR Terrain Generation System for Multi-ship Rotorcraft Brown-out Landings
Proposal No.: N082-152-0223
Firm: TerraMetrics, Inc.
8420 S. Continental Divide Rd., Ste. 110
Littleton, Colorado 80127-4251
Contact: Gregory Baxes
Phone: (303) 979-5255
Web Site: www.terrametrics.com
Abstract: TerraMetrics, Inc., proposes to demonstrate a key architecture and processing methodology that provides a direct solution for multi-aircraft formation helicopter landings in blinding brown-out conditions. The proposed innovation offers a synthetic vision implementation that self-generates, shares and displays a compact landing zone 3D terrain/obstacle model, and multi-aircraft approach and landing routes using lead-aircraft Laser Detection and Ranging (LADAR) sensor data, and formation aircraft location and motion vector data. Our approach, referred to as TerraBlocksT Clear-to-LandT/MultiView, builds on our TerraBlocksT Clear-to-LandT self-generating dynamic 3D terrain model technology coupled with our TerraBlocksT synthetic vision (SV) rendering and display engine. The focus is our cloud-to-surface methodology for propagating voluminous LADAR point cloud data into a compact, multi-resolution, real-time-displayable parametric heightfield surface model representation where ground and airborne obstacles are clearly displayed as "no-fly" volume features. The approach improves wire feature discrimination and retention against ground and primary features. Once received by each aircraft in the formation, the terrain/obstacle model and computed route plans, coupled with the continuous position and motion vector data from each aircraft, is displayed using the TerraBlocksT SV system throughout the formation approach and landing maneuvers, providing all pilots with a robust situational awareness instrument for brown-out landings.
Benefits: The TerraBlocksT Clear-to-LandT/MultiView system offers a significant advancement in LADAR-based terrain/obstacle model generation, terrain analysis capability and synthetic vision (SV) flight display functionality. The approach quickly and efficiently converts high-volume LADAR point cloud data to a compact, analyzable, distributable and displayable form. TerraBlocksT Clear-to-LandT/MultiView is especially suited for military rotorcraft and rotorcraft formation landings in conditions where the landing zone can produce a brown-out condition or similar low-visibility conditions. Commercial markets requiring the proposed system include rotorcraft applications of emergency response, and search and rescue uses requiring quick mission response and temporally accurate modeling of terrain and obstacle features.