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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Enhancing Integration of Synthetic Vision Systems in General Aviation through Graph Based Integrity Monitoring

Kofi Nyarko
Engineering-CIBAC, Morgan State University

Craig Scott
Electrical Engineering, Morgan State University

Kemi Ladeji-Osias
Electrical Engineering, Morgan State University

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: December 31, 2005

Even though the aviation infrastructure is currently undergoing a transformation due to economic factors and mounting competition, aviation safety continues to be of paramount importance. Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) provides general aviation pilots with displays of stored geo-spatial data representing terrain, obstacles, and cultural features, which have the potential to improve flight safety by providing situational awareness and reducing the likelihood of Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT). SVS technology promises to play a more central role in general aviation as individual and air taxi operations expand access to affordable point-to-point transportation for both passengers and cargo. However, in order to enable safe use of SVS at low altitudes, real-time range-to-terrain measurements will be necessary to ensure integrity of terrain data. Since a comprehensive validation of the terrain database is impractical, these databases typically have no real quantifiable measure of accuracy. In addition, updates to the database may not occur for a long period of time, as such, rendering portions of the database undependable. As a result, these issues could seriously limit the use of SVS for civil aviation. This paper describes an integrity monitor which uses a novel approach to check the consistency between a terrain elevation profile synthesized from X-Band weather radar sensor information and the profile given in a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Both profiles are first converted to a graph based representation, where key points of interest are extrapolated and the spatial relationship between them stored in a hierarchical graph. A comparison is then made through error-correcting graph isomorphism techniques which are highly tolerant of error due to scaling, rotation and deformation. Flight-testing data from NASA’s AvSP is used to validate the proposed monitor approach. Initial results of this assessment are presented.

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