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Sight Effectiveness Enhancement

Objective

Safety of transportation is essential to the citizens' quality of life and to the development of European industry. Low visibility during night time or under bad weather conditions is one of the main reasons of road accidents and air traffic crashes. Infrared sensors are means that could help drivers or pilots to overpass human eyes limitation. Up to now these sensor technologies were not capable of good performances (readability) under all weather conditions and it was impossible to demonstrate that these means would not lead to misleading information. It is the goal of the SEE project to address these two limitations. On that purpose, the two main SEE objectives are: To develop two IR cameras (Long and Short Wavelengths Infrared Sensor), based on last un-cooled technology, and to merge the two information to obtain at the same time readable and reliable images. To develop a validated simulation of the two IR images in order to assess the human performances, based on the state of the art of human factors methodologies. SEE is a 36 months project gathering seven organisations from four countries: industrials (avionics, automotive, IR cameras) and research institutes (sensors, human factors). Safety of transportation is essential to the citizens' quality of life and to the development of European industry. Low visibility during night time or under bad weather conditions is one of the main reasons of road accidents and air traffic crashes. Infrared sensors are means that could help drivers or pilots to overpass human eyes limitation. Up to now these sensor technologies were not capable of good performances (readability) under all weather conditions and it was impossible to demonstrate that these means would not lead to misleading information. It is the goal of the SEE project to address these two limitations. On that purpose, the two main SEE objectives are: To develop two IR cameras (Long and Short Wavelengths Infrared Sensor), based on last un-cooled technology, and to merge the two information to obtain at the same time readable and reliable images. To develop a validated simulation of the two IR images in order to assess the human performances, based on the state of the art of human factors methodologies. SEE is a 36 months project gathering seven organisations from four countries : industrials (avionics, automotive, IR cameras) and research institutes (sensors, human factors).

OBJECTIVES
The SEE project's is structured around three main objectives:
1. Development of a low cost dual band infrared sensor. The dual band approach is motivated by the complementarity between short wave infrared band (SWIR) and long wave infrared band (LWIR). Since the ambition behind EVS is to substitute the view of the naked eye, the sensor technology must be able to detect all the elements that would be visible in good conditions. The dual band concept imply that a data fusion module is developed, in order to analyse the content of each band and build the unique presented image;
2. Develop a simulation platform and validate the feasibility of full simulation evaluation. To become independent of the uncertain occurrence of fog, and to avoid costly prototype integration and road tests, the SEE consortium's objective is to develop a simulation package allowing to evaluate EVS on simulator. This is ambitious since it requires to be able to model the sensor, the operational scene in the infrared domain, and the atmosphere influence in the sensor perception;
3. Human factors evaluation of the added value of a multi-spectral EVS sensor. Since our concern is focused on the usability of the image produced by the sensor, a thorough evaluation in a broad range of operational context is a key objective of the study. The purpose of the experimental evaluation will be to measure the extent to which the "SEE sensor" gives a significant improvement in usability and safety for aeronautic and automotive application.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The work is scheduled as follows: The first work package of the project shall set the basis for further works, and be a step in the achievement of the three main project objectives. The first task will be to specify a sensor dedicated to vision through fog and other bad visibility conditions. An analysis of objects infrared properties, and of atmosphere transmission shall conduct to the definition of an appropriate infrared system. A second task shall be to gather models of all the functional brick of the sensor in order to build an accurate analytic model of the sensor. This model shall be validated in order to guarantee the realism of modelling. A third task shall be to analyse the relevant situation of accident/incident due to bad visibility and hypothesises the potential safety improvements carried by enhanced vision. This analysis will identify scenario to simulate for validation.

Based on the results of the first work package, the three main technological activities of the project can follow: Cameras design. The stake shall be to define all component of each camera regarding the specificity of enhanced vision requirements, while keeping the projected product cost at a reasonable level. Data fusion. Here different strategies to combine optimally the two images shall be evaluated ranging from "low profile" approach to complex algorithmic scheme. Besides, specific functions, taking advantage of dual-band structure, for the detection of major cues (hazards, vulnerable road users, road/runway signs, road/runway edge, ice) shall be implemented. Modelling. The work will be focus on the global accuracy of the modelling. This will be structured around the following steps:
1. Modelling of the scene according to defined scenarios;
2. Modelling of the atmosphere, with a focus on fog impact;
3. Modelling of the sensor. After those technological developments, the evaluation of the sensor will be performed through the human factor evaluation. These evaluation shall benefit of the flexibility of the simulations that shall allow a much broader range of test scenarios in each of the applications than would be possible in field tests. At the end of the project, the system will be demonstrate in a real car in order to give a view of the system capabilities in an open environment. During the course of the project, opportunities to disseminate results, exchange with related projects shall be identified and exploited.

Coordinator

THALES AVIONICS SA

Address

1 Avenue Carnot
91883 Massy

France

Administrative Contact

Pierre-Albert BRETON

Participants (7)

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BMW FORSCHUNG UND TECHNIK GMBH

Germany

CARL ZEISS OPTRONICS GMBH

Germany

COMMISSARIAT A L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE

France

ESG ELEKTRONIKSYSTEM- UND LOGISTIK- GESELLSCHAFT MIT BESCHRAENKTER HAFTUNG

Germany

GALILEO AVIONICA - S.P.A.

Italy

OKTAL SYNTHETIC ENVIRONMENT

France

RISOE NATIONAL LABORATORY

Denmark

Project information

Grant agreement ID: IST-2001-38228

  • Start date

    1 September 2002

  • End date

    31 December 2005

Funded under:

FP5-IST

  • Overall budget:

    € 5 853 956

  • EU contribution

    € 2 926 975

Coordinated by:

THALES AVIONICS SA

France