Home | Global Elevation Data Adaptive Compression System (GEDACS)

Chapter: Collision Avoidance Technologies, new invention technology, Research project papers,

Global Elevation Data Adaptive Compression System (GEDACS)

Global Elevation Data Adaptive Compression System (GEDACS)
Collision Avoidance Technologies, Advancing technology and science through flight 2014, Research, Technology, and Engineering Accomplishments, National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center. new invention technology, Research project papers;

Global Elevation Data Adaptive Compression System (GEDACS)


Data-adaptive algorithms are the critically enabling technology for Armstrong's GEDACS and automatic collision avoidance system efforts. These Armstrong-developed algorithms provide an extensive and highly efficient compression capability for global-scale digital terrain maps (DTMs) along with a real-time decompression capability to locally render map data. These terrain maps and decompression algorithms are designed to be easily integrated into an aircraft's existing onboard computing environment or into other mobile embedded environments, such as smart phones or tablets, without the need for external data


download. The GEDACS software package enables developers to create maps containing multiple user-defined geographical areas with custom fidelities from a variety of data sources. GEDACS provides this ability with a single, easy-to-use graphical user interface; simple map definition; and data selection procedures.



Work to date: DTMs created with the GEDACS software have been flown and tested on aircraft avionics systems and other mobile embedded applications.



Looking ahead: Maps developed using GEDACS are being considered for advanced automotive and space applications that require large areas of digital terrain information.



 Efficient: Provides high compression ratios (thousands to 1 for most map requirements)


 Powerful: Integrates and processes more than 250 billion separate pieces of terrain information into a single decompressed DTM

 Highly configurable: Enables users to input requirements to create compressed DTMs




 Military and civil aeronautics  Unmanned aerial vehicles

 Collision Avoidance Technologies


Researchers at Armstrong are dramatically improving upon existing ground collision avoidance technology for aircraft. Controlled flight into terrain remains a leading cause of fatalities in aviation, resulting in roughly 100 deaths each year in the United States alone. Although warning systems have virtually eliminated this problem for large commercial air carriers, the problem still remains for fighter aircraft, helicopters, and general aviation.


Armstrong innovators have been working with the U.S. Air Force for more than 25 years to develop automatic col-lision avoidance technologies for fighter aircraft that would reduce the risk of ground collisions, the leading cause of fatalities in both military and general aviation. The result of the collaboration is lifesaving technology that incorporates onboard digital terrain mapping data with data-adaptive algorithms that predict impending ground collisions.


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