The Reconstruction of Serial Sections (ROSS) computer program processes data from a series of tomograms to generate a three-dimensional (3D) representation of an object, and further processes data from the 3D representation to enable the viewing of any part of the object from any of an essentially unlimited number of perspectives. ROSS is expected to be especially useful for biomedical applications, including medical research, medical training, virtual-environment simulations for planning surgery, andtelemedicine. The main contributions of ROSS to the art of computational 3D imaging are ease of use, high fidelity, and general applicability. Even high-school students have been trained to use ROSS. The fidelity of the images generated by ROSS from tomographic data is great enough that surgeons can notice tiny defects in hearts and lungs, for example.

Although a typical set of tomographic data is so large that, heretofore, it has not been possible to generate high-fidelity 3D views by use of a personal computer, ROSS makes it possible by rendering different components of images at different levels of resolution so that one does not lose sight of essential features and yet the overall amount of information to be processed is reduced drastically.

This program was written by Muriel Ross, Kevin Montgomery, Samuel Linton, and Rei Chang of Ames Research Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at  under the Software category.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2001 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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