A system of electronic hardware and software synthesizes, in nearly real time, an image of a portion of a scene surveyed by as many as eight video cameras aimed, in different directions, at portions of the scene. This is a prototype of systems that would enable a pilot to view the scene outside a remote or windowless cockpit. The outputs of the cameras are digitized.

Direct memory addressing is used to store the data of a few captured images in sequence, and the sequence is repeated in cycles. Cylindrical warping is used in merging adjacent images at their borders to construct a mosaic image of the scene. The mosaic-image data are written to a memory block from which they can be rendered on a head-mounted display (HMD) device. A subsystem in the HMD device tracks the direction of gaze of the wearer, providing data that are used to select, for display, the portion of the mosaic image corresponding to the direction of gaze. The basic functionality of the system has been demonstrated by mounting the cameras on the roof of a van and steering the van by use of the images presented on the HMD device.

This work was done by Amarnath Banerjee of Texas A&M University for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-23777-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2009 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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