LSMD

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Information about LSMD
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Published on November 7, 2007

Author: FunnyGuy

Source: authorstream.com

A Scaling Device for Photographic Images:  A Scaling Device for Photographic Images Kennedy Space Center Nominee for 2006 NASA Invention of the Year A Scaling Device for Photographic Images:  A Scaling Device for Photographic Images Inventors: Robert Youngquist (KSC) Jorge Rivera Charles Stevenson Robert Cox (ASRC) William Haskell (Sierra Lobo) Presentation Adapted and Presented by: Paul Curto (HQ) Background:  In many photographic situations an object, such as a ruler, is placed within the field of view so that when the picture is seen the viewer will have a visual indication of the scale of the other objects in the picture. Yet, there are occasions where this is not possible, for example in photographing damage on the Shuttle's External Tank. Background Background:  Telephoto lenses might be used to zoom in and see the damage clearly, yet the end viewer can not determine the scale of the damage because there is no reference object in the image. Background Background:  Two examples of photos taken with telephoto lenses showing damage from hail. Without a known distance reference the end viewer cannot determine the scale of the damage. Background Background:  In 1999 the External Tank (ET) was exposed to a hail storm, resulting in multiple damage sites on the ET foam. It was important to know how big these damage sites are because above a certain size they must be repaired. The operations personnel were able to measure the size of the damage sites in locations where access was possible, but along the large open expanse of the tank they had no way to do this. The Laser Scaling Measurement Device (LSMD) and LSMD software were invented to facilitate measurement of the Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) damage in digital images containing LSMD laser reference points. Background Project Development:  This is a photo of a hail impact damage site on the External Tank sprayed on foam insulation (SOFI). The two laser dots are shown to demonstrate the concept of providing scale for the determination of the size of the defect. Project Development Hail damage on ET SOFI Two Laser dots provide the scale on the image to estimate damage diameter Project Development:  The Laser Scaling Measurement Device (LSMD) software was created to facilitate measurement of the Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) damage or any application where the digital images contain reference points or objects of known size, such as uniformly spaced screw heads. The Laser Scaling Measurement Device (LSMD) hardware is a tool which is attached directly to a camera and projects a known pattern into the field of view that are captured in the digital image. Project Development Project Development:  This is a photo of the LSMD prototype without the cover. The four lasers are located within the four curved aluminum cylinders. The on/off switch and battery are seen within the device housing. Project Development Project Development:  This is a picture of a Shuttle Liquid Oxygen Flow Line with a small piece of foam stuck inside of the bellows. This 2001 picture was used to help determine the size of the piece of foam and whether it needed to be removed before launch. Project Development Project Development:  Written in Microsoft Object Oriented C++, The LSMD software increases productivity by working directly with digital images (eliminating the need to print hardcopy of the digital images) and by automating the scaling of the image and the measurement of features within the image (eliminating manual measurement and manual scaling of hardcopy). The combination of the LSMD and the LSMD software is a powerful way to remotely and nondestructively measure features of objects in most locations, but especially those locations that are difficult to reach or that have risk further damage from physical access. The LSMD images are self documenting in terms of reference scale. Furthermore the laser reference points do not occlude features in the image. Project Development Commercialization:  This is a photo of the LSMD commercial unit. Both the Scaling Device and its accompanying LSMD software are currently licensed to Armor Holdings, Jacksonville, FL, a leading manufacturer of crime scene investigation accessories. Two laser dots which are one inch apart are the minimum number of points needed for reference in a digital photo. Commercialization Users:  Users Users of the LSMD: Shuttle Ops Armor Holdings, Jacksonville, FL, a leading manufacturer of crime scene investigation accessories The FBI is possibly interested in using the LSMD software in blood-splatter crime scenes. PROCESS FLOW:  PROCESS FLOW Reselect commands as desired LSMD Software:  Photo of the Shuttle External Tank showing damage by birds. Also shown are the four laser spots near the top of the digital image. LSMD Software LSMD Software:  With the photo loaded into the LSMD software and the reference distance known, the Laser dots are marked to correlate pixels to actual distance. LSMD Software Project Development:  For each point marked in the photo, a running average distance between points is maintained facilitating an infinite number of possible reference marks. More marks increases the average accuracy. Project Development Average distance between points LSMD Software:  After at least two Laser dots are marked the measurement tool is enabled allowing damaged areas to be dimensioned. LSMD Software Technology Transfer:  Technology Transfer Publication was in the October 2003 issue of NASA Tech Briefs. Features added to LSMD for Armor Holdings to attract commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vendors including image zooming and metric units. Green lasers now used to improve visibility in sunlight… Conclusion:  The Laser Scaling Device Software enhances and advances the techniques to measure objects in photographs.  By using the software, any object in the image can be quickly and accurately measured diagonally, vertically and horizontally. Scaling images is extremely important in crime and accident scene investigations and this NASA software is an efficient and accurate tool that greatly improves the current technique of placing a reference scale in the camera's view. This software will benefit crime scene investigators, photographers, surveillance personnel and has applications in homeland security and the military. Latest hail damage to Shuttle in February, 2007 now in assessment using LSMD Conclusion LSMD is good enough to win both…:  LSMD is good enough to win both… “Last week the Space Shuttle was exposed to a serious hail storm and the green laser version of our scaling device was used to help determine the size of the damage sites.  The pictures enclosed show the projected laser spots being used to measure the size of a foam impact on the Intertank region of the External tank and show the actual device that has been accepted as a shop aid within the Shuttle Program.” “On the commercial side, the vendor, Armor Forensics, has told us that sales are good and interest is high.  We've been told that these devices are being used in Iraq and may soon find their way into the tool set of crime scene investigators throughout the country, which would cause them to become internationally accepted.  So this combination of immediate application to the Shuttle program combined with use in crime scenes within the US as well as oversees leads me to believe that it is deserving of international recognition as NASA's invention of the year.”

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