Real-time Processing Tools

“Exelis Space Computer Corporation is the only corporation to offer real-time geo-registered mapping capabilities for hyperspectral sensor data.”

Exelis Space Computer Corporation's real-time HSI processing tools enable the hyperspectral sensor operator to immediately see HSI sensor data mapped in stable, geo-registered visual form. Targets are detected and declared in real time, and target images that have been sharpened with higher-resolution panchromatic data are typically overlaid on the geo-registered HSI data map. Larger images of targets are displayed to allow immediate visual interpretation and evaluation for relevance to mission objectives.


GeoPaint®

GeoPaint® as implemented in ARCHER
(Click image for annotated version)

Exelis SCC’s GeoPaint® tool is a graphical user interface designed for the very rapid visualization of HSI data. GeoPaint® receives HSI data from a hyperspectral sensor concurrent with position and attitude information for the deployment vehicle. The HSI data are geo-registered and mapped, in real time, at their correct locations on a Universal Transverse Mercator grid. GeoPaint® offers significant benefits over the sensor coordinate-based presentation that was the only real-time imagery presentation method available before Exelis SCC released its GeoPaint® tool.

Benefits of GeoPaint® Software-based Geo-registration
Attribute GeoPaint® Real-time Geo-Registered Display Traditional Waterfall Display
Imagery Orientation Up is always true North. Up is always the current movement direction of the host vehicle. Directional orienation is not possible without externally provided information.
Imagery stability Imagery remains still and stable to allow visual assessment; image shifts in discrete amounts to keep leading edge within viewing window. Imagery is always cascading down the window. The constant movement makes image assessment very difficult because the eye must track the imagery movement.
Imagery Clarity Imagery appears as it actually exists, without smearing and spatial distortion. Imagery is smeared and distorted as the sensor undergoes abrupt movements in response to air turbulence.
Fewer moving parts Software geo-registration eliminates the need for closed-loop gimbal position measurement and pointing. More moving parts means higher maintenance costs, more system failures, and lost deployments.

Examples of a waterfall display (left) and the same data in Exelis SCC's GeoPaint® real-time HSI data visualization tool (right). Note the smearing and distortion of the runways and other cultural features in the waterfall imagery, and the lack of any directional reference. In the GeoPaint® display, the user clearly sees that the sensor platform, in this case an aircraft, is moving in a northwesterly direction. The geo-registered imagery replicates the actual spatial dimensions of the ground features. All smearing and distortion have been removed. The GeoPaint® tool performs the geo-registration and data painting in real time, and up to ten times faster than real time in playback mode.

HSI Waterfall Display

GeoPaint® Real-time Geo-registered Display

Another problem with a waterall display is that the imagery is constantly moving as it cascades down from the top of the window as the data are acquired. This makes analysis and evaluation difficult because the eye must track the moving imagery. In the GeoPaint® window, the imagery remains still. Newly acquired data are added to the scene image as they are acquired. When the leading edge of the imagery reaches a window boundary, the entire geo-registered image instantly shifts toward the center of the window by a discrete amount. It then remains still until the leading edge once again reaches a window boundary.

Click either image above to see a short animation that illustrates the advantages of Exelis SCC's GeoPaint® real-time HSI data visualization tool. (Approx. 15 sec, requires MS Media Player plug-in)


GeoViewTM as implemented in ARCHER
(Click image for annotated version)

GeoViewTM

Exelis SCC’s GeoViewTM is a graphical user interface designed for rapid visual evaluation of targets detected in HSI data. GeoViewTM receives data for declared targets from Exelis SCC’s target detection algorithms. Targets are processed and presented for visual inspection, interpretation, and evaluation in the GeoViewTM window.


Debris field in a wooded area detected as an anomaly.

Anomaly Target Detection

The anomaly detection algorithm detects pixel spectra that are anomalous to the scene. The algorithm receives HSI data from the sensor. Each incoming pixel spectrum is assigned a score that indicates how anomalous it is compared to the general scene. Pixels with scores greater than a threshold are then processed through Exelis SCC's spatial-clustering algorithm before declaration as a target.


Signature Match Target Detection

The signature-match detection algorithm detects pixel spectra in the scene that are similar to one or more given spectra. The algorithm receives HSI data from the sensor. Each incoming pixel spectrum is assigned a score that indicates how closely it matches each of the given spectra. Pixels with scores greater than a threshold are then processed through SCC's spatial-clustering algorithm before declaration as a target.

Spectral signatures may be entered as laboratory- or field-grade spectral measurements or they may be harvested from any target that has been detected in an HSI dataset.

Searching for Blue Tarps Using a Spectral Signature

Target detection by spectral signature matching can be accomplished by using a laboratory- or field-collected spectral signaure, as shown at left, or by using an in-scene signature harvested from a detected target, as shown at right.

Laboratory-grade spectral signature of a typical blue tarp.

In-scene spectral signature of a typical blue tarp collected from a detected anomaly target.

Actual blue tarp detections using lab-grade or in-scene spectral signatures of a typical blue tarp.

Tarp on roof - an excellent means of assessing extent of damage from natural disasters.

Tarp in a remote wooded area - useful for counter-drug applications.

Tarp over construction materials.

Tarp detected through dilapidated roof of abandoned barn.

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