Automated Fusion of Digital Elevation Models

Period of Performance: 11/10/2003 - 11/10/2005

$730K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

There are a large variety of data sources used today in the generation of elevation information. However, each source has its own characteristics both in terms of its data quality and phenomenology, and also in terms of the CONOP under which the data collection and exploitation were designed to be carried out. These differences have profound effects on the characteristics of the elevation data. The Defense community, in particular, has essentially adopted IFSAR and LIDAR data, as "acceptable sources". These data sources however, have peculiarities and associated artifacts not necessarily present in more traditional data sources. Being able to fuse these different measurements of the terrain will enable much more effective use of the data was the focus of our phase 1 effort. Sources include traditionally generated photogrammetric DEMS, IFSAR generated DEMS, LIDAR DEMS as well as bathymetric DEMs. For the phase 2 effort, we will continue to refine and demonstrate the phase 1 algorithms, produce a software "tool-box" that will incorporate the algorithms and work with a commercial partner, Leica Geosystems, maker of ERDAS IMAGINE, to make the software available as an add-on module to their existing software offerings. After completion of this SBIR the US Army, and DoD in general, will have a number of new tools for producing "best-of-the-best" DEMs. These will be designed for ease of integration. Distribution of a subset of these algorithms through a world-wide remote sensing software proivider, Leica Geosystems, will provide these tools to the commercial market.