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Software Tracks Cells and Solar Arrays

Photonics Spectra
Apr 1999
Daniel C. McCarthy

NASA Johnson Space Center's Image Science and Analysis Group researchers analyze the frequency and type of motion in orbiting platforms to perform loads testing, fulfill safety considerations, or better predict what to expect when docking spacecraft. As a test, they sent a number of videos of objects in motion to Inovision to evaluate how closely the company could track movement with the ISee product. Performance was measured by how accurately the software tracked amplitude and frequency of oscillatory motion in the videos.
We knew how fast and how far it moved. We wanted to see how close ISee came," said Mike Snyder, a principal scientist with NASA's group.
"The real test, to my mind, was a video of a guy standing in front of a bench 150 feet away, moving an object a couple tenths of an inch," said Douglas Benson, president of Inovision. "We took the data, digitized it, and sent it back and closed the sale." He further noted that the video image showed a field of view about 35 feet wide.
The NASA researchers previously had used in-house software -- which they're still comparing with ISee. "We looked at a number of software packages, but ISee had point selection, tracking and general image processing capabilities and enhancements," Snyder said, adding that Inovision's software was 10 to 15 times faster in processing time.
"It analyzes 10 to 20 frames per second, which is almost real-time tracking."

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