Technology for Shipbuilding Affordability

Period of Performance: 05/20/2003 - 02/20/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Vexcel Corp.
1690 38th Street
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator


Vexcel Corporation in conjunction with Todd Pacific Shipyard Corporation, propose to develop a 3D measurement system similar in concept to the proven FotoGTM technology but based on a single digital video input stream rather than a set of varying viewpoint digital still images. Decrease field time Vexcel proposes incorporating a simple accurate control point identification methodology through the use of automatically recognized photogrammetric targets located on reference length elements. These reference length elements would be placed in the scene at the beginning and end of the path captured by the video camera. Decrease time to CAD model A video stream consists of a sequence of images taken at 1/30th of a second intervals so that there is very significant image overlap between any pair of frames. Given that the images will have a great deal of image overlap, computer vision algorithms (such as those currently imbedded within FotoG), are able to identify common points between two sequential frames and calculate the relative change in camera position. It is these calculated camera positions combined with the calibration of the camera lens/CCD that is used to create 3D measurements. Vexcel Corporation is are particularly interested in this SBIR proposal because of the great commercial potential for the proposed system. Many industries have a growing need for cost effective three-dimensional (3D) models of real world sites or objects, either for engineering applications or for use in virtual reality simulators. Additionally, the significant reduction in on-site labor required to acquire field measurements with this proposed system would dramatically reduce the risk to employees in environmentally hazardous and hostile areas ? a significant driving force to purchase this new technology in many commercial and military applications. Vexcel has been a leading provider of digital photogrammetric modeling systems over the past decade. We have commercialized DARPA, NASA, and DOD SBIR research into a robust photogrammetric application (FotoGTM) that is in use worldwide. Application areas include the aerospace, petrochemical, automotive, nuclear, architectural, and entertainment industries. o NASA uses FotoGTM on the International Space Station and the Space Shuttles, o Ford uses it for 3D modeling for robot simulation, o US, British, and Australian Air Forces use it for modeling aircraft and weapon systems, o Framatome uses it to model entire nuclear power facilities, o Procter & Gamble uses it for modeling entire process facilities Vexcel has extensive experience in the development and commercialization of complex systems for terrestrial, aerial, and space borne photogrammetric and radar applications. Examples include our robust, widely used close-range photogrammetric system (FotoGTM), aerial photogrammetry based 3D city models and line-of-site software system (VexLink), as well as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) processors and ground stations.