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Small UAV collects data to generate 3-D terrain maps

Dec. 2, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  
By MICHAEL PECK   |   Comments
Real-time MetaVR VRSG screen capture of 3-D terrain with a geospecific model of a building and a model of the MetaVRC data collection aircraft in flight. (MetaVR)
Real-time MetaVR VRSG screen capture of 3-D terrain with a geospecific model of a building and a model of the MetaVRC data collection aircraft in flight. (MetaVR) ()
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MetaVR has unveiled an aircraft-mounted system for using geospatial data to generate 3-D terrain maps.

The company describes the system as a “low-cost process for collecting imagery of an area of interest with a portable aircraft, and using that imagery in building geospecific 3D terrain with 3 [centimeter] per pixel resolution imagery for real-time simulation.”

Data is collected by a MetaVRC, a small, hand-launched UAV that flies below 400 feet and can capture 2,500 still-frame images of a 5-square-kilometer area. The raw aerial images are then orthorectified and combined with elevation data, which then generates terrain data inputs for MetaVR’s Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS. This allows a synthetic environment to be rendered in MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator.

“The aerial imagery can also be used to create custom 3D models of any or all of the surrounding area elements, based upon the aerial imagery and supplemented with ground-level photographs,” MetaVR said.

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