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Terrain Modeling for Virtual Battlefields

Christoph Witzgall, Javier Bernal, and Marjorie McClain, ACMD
Douglas R. Shier, Clemson University and ACMD
Paul Shelkin and James Damron, U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center (TEC), Alexandria, VA
Dale D. Miller and Timothy Miller, Loral Advanced Distributed Simulation (LADS), Bellevue, WA

The project involves developing and testing computational-geometric algorithms pertinent to the implementation of Triangulated Irregular Networks (TINs) enabling distributed terrain simulation for military training and orientation. At issue here is data-reduction and value-adding while maintaining realistic but parsimonious representation of terrain. The project is supported by ARPA.

ACMD-developed prototype software provides a testbed for ACMD research in the burgeoning field of Computational Geometry, in particular, Voronoi/Delaunay techniques. The surface representation methods developed in this work have potential NIST and industry applications in generic surface and spatial interpolation, finite-element techniques, and planning of exploratory experiments.

The beginning of FY96 saw an actual application of ACMD developed techniques and software for a critical task within ARPA's Synthetic Theater of War project: the implementation of a 165x111km ``Ground Maneuver Box" representing an area in California with roughly 500,000 elevations algorithmically selected from 30,000,000. The software also expanded crude centerline data for roads and rails to create driveable roadbeds and processed qualitative landform data from other sources.

The ACMD/LADS team was subsequently invited to an ARPA-sponsored ``Terrain Week 95", December 20-24, at Camp Pendleton, to present a joint white paper on the construction of the above terrain model. Also at this meeting, ACMD/LADS, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, and Multigen Co. participated in a ``(friendly) shootout" with each team generating terrain models for the Camp Pendleton Military Reservation from common input to be evaluated by a common procedure. ACMD prevailed in two of four events.

Subsequent upgrading of the triangulation software reduced memory requirements by almost a factor of two and running time by a factor of four.

Currently at issue are terrain representation techniques suitable for very high-resolution -- 1x1m and 3x3m -- elevation data to be tested for a new 25x25km database on the Marine Corps Training Area at Twentynine Palms, CA.

next up previous
Next: Finite Element Modeling Up: Applications in Manufacturing Previous: Center Manifold Analysis

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