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Photos: Computers usher in pilots' vision 2.0

Eye spy
By Nick Heath, Contributor on
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1 of 4 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Eye spy

Enhanced vision technologies could be used to help the military pinpoint potential targets, aid pilots flying in bad weather and improve the accuracy of aircraft inspections.

Indian technology giant HCL recently revealed its suite of visual processing tech, including this satellite image processing technology, used to clean up images of the earth from orbit and bring them into sharper focus.

Here is the image after processing, shown on top, and before processing, below.

The cleaner image allows far more useful information to be extracted from the satellite feed, in this instance the categorisation of the various types of commercial, industrial, residential and other land in the shot.

The clearer satellite image is produced by bringing together high and low resolution images and by putting the images through a series of filters and other processes.

Photo credit: HCL

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2 of 4 Nick Heath/ZDNET

The Enhanced Fusion Vision system, shown here, is aimed at helping pilots take off and fly in poor weather conditions such as rain, snow or fog.

The system creates sharp images in real-time from a camera attached to the plane and relays them back to the pilot, cleaning up visual feeds that would otherwise be obscured by the weather.

The system uses digital camera sensors that take visible and infrared images, which are then fused together into a clearer picture using customised image processing algorithms.

Photo credit: HCL

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3 of 4 Nick Heath/ZDNET

The Vision Based Inspection computer system can be used in safety inspections to examine airplane fuselages between flights.

The system combines an automatic camera taking in visible and infrared images that are fed into image recognition software.

The system can screen for missing parts, bearing component wear, electrical system failure, identification of missing equipment as well as detecting foreign objects underneath the aircraft.

HCL developed the image processing software using algorithms for image enhancement, edge detection, filters, geometric pattern matching and object recognition.

Photo credit: HCL

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4 of 4 Nick Heath/ZDNET

HCL's visual processing suite also features the Embedded Vision Engine - shown here at work.

The engine processes optical, radar and infrared footage taken during a plane's flight and brings it all together along with flight information.

The engine can pick out and zoom in on distant targets and calculate their location by combining video and flight data, as well as pull out other background information from the video footage.

Photo credit: HCL

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