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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 542165, 8 pages
Research Article

Flight Performance Analysis of an Image Processing Algorithm for Integrated Sense-and-Avoid Systems

Department of Aerospace Engineering (DIAS), University of Naples “Federico II”, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy

Received 9 January 2012; Accepted 30 April 2012

Academic Editor: Mark Price

Copyright © 2012 Lidia Forlenza et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper is focused on the development and the flight performance analysis of an image-processing technique aimed at detecting flying obstacles in airborne panchromatic images. It was developed within the framework of a research project which aims at realizing a prototypical obstacle detection and identification System, characterized by a hierarchical multisensor configuration. This configuration comprises a radar, that is, the main sensor, and four electro-optical cameras. Cameras are used as auxiliary sensors to the radar, in order to increase intruder aircraft position measurement, in terms of accuracy and data rate. The paper thoroughly describes the selection and customization of the developed image-processing techniques in order to guarantee the best results in terms of detection range, missed detection rate, and false-alarm rate. Performance is evaluated on the basis of a large amount of images gathered during flight tests with an intruder aircraft. The improvement in terms of accuracy and data rate, compared with radar-only tracking, is quantitatively demonstrated.