MetaVR unveils portable aircraft system for generating geospecific real-time 3D terrain


BROOKLINE, MA, USA November 14, 2013 – MetaVR announces that it has established a low-cost process for collecting imagery of an area of interest with a portable aircraft, and using that imagery in building geospecific 3D terrain with 3 cm per-pixel resolution imagery for real-time simulation. Using this high-resolution imagery together with accurate elevation data to compile terrain with MetaVR’s Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS results in a realistic geospecific synthetic environment that can be rendered in MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG).

The MetaVRC, MetaVR’s remote-controlled aircraft for imagery data collection, is a low profile, lightweight, and portable plane, modified to accommodate autonomous flight. The purpose of the aircraft is to take high-resolution still-frame images that are subsequently orthorectified and used as imagery source data for building 3D terrain. The aircraft is designed to fly at or below 400 feet given the appropriate permissions for airspace usage, at a range up to 20 miles depending on regulations of the area. For a 5 sq km area, approximately 2,500 raw images are taken by the aircraft’s camera at one inch (1″) pixel resolution. The portable aircraft will be on display at I/ITSEC, in MetaVR’s Booth #1249.

The raw aerial images collected by the MetaVRC are subsequently orthorectified. The resulting high-resolution geo-referenced orthomosiacs, together with DTED 1 elevation data of the photographed region become source data inputs to MetaVR Terrain Tools for ArcGIS for compiling 3D terrain in MetaVR’s round-earth terrain format. The terrain can be compiled at 3.125 cm, which in turn can be rendered in VRSG at 60 Hz. With geospecific imagery at this resolution, a physics-based IR profile of the terrain can be created in VRSG version 5.8 with a high degree of realism.

The aerial imagery can also be used to create custom 3D models of any or all of the surrounding area elements, based upon the aerial imagery and supplemented with ground-level photographs. Content can be relevant and specific to various kinds of simulation training, such as military mission exercises, law enforcement, or emergency/disaster response.
Aerial imagery collected by MetaVRC can be ordered directly from MetaVR by specifying the area of interest, such as an airfield. You can order raw collected data, orthorectified imagery, or a dataset of terrain tiles built with the imagery in MetaVR’s round-earth terrain format, delivered with a VRSG or MetaVR Terrain Tools software license. Access to the area of interest for aerial photography must be in accordance with FAA regulations. Customers will be responsible for obtaining the necessary authorization and certified access to operate within the particular area of interest for aerial photography.

Note: The operational readiness testing of the MetaVRC was performed as described by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) applicable airspace operation rules and regulations. (AMA National Safety Code and FAA AC 91-57.) Data was collected as part of this testing. For commercial purposes, a remote controlled aircraft in the national airspace is permitted to fly only in Restricted Airspace, or in airspace that has a certified Certificate of Authorization. Flying an aircraft in either types of airspace requires the prior authorization of the airspace owner(s).

For more information, see at MetaVR at I/ITSEC, in Booth #1249, or