News

Army Research Center Maps LA Coliseum in 3-D for Homeland Security

September 20, 2017

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 20, 2017) — The US Army Research Laboratory’s university partner – the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, in collaboration with the Aerospace Corporation and Department of Homeland Security, created a three-dimensional reconstruction of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to help ensure the safety of its visitors.

They used commercial, off the shelf unmanned aerial systems and photogrammetric software to create the 3-D reconstruction of the LA Coliseum to be used by the Department of Homeland Security for infrastructure protection and security planning.

The Department of Homeland Security visited the ICT for demonstrations of the One World Terrain project, specifically the collection and 3-D reconstruction of areas of interest useful for terrain visualization, walk-through, planning and mission rehearsal. Officials thought it held promise for their infrastructure protection group, specifically where large crowds gathered and may be soft targets.

The aircraft were flown autonomously using an Android app built by ICT known as RAPTRS. Thousands of high-resolution still photographs of the structure were collected by the drones. Commercial photogrammetry software, in combination with classification algorithms developed at ICT, were used to reconstruct the structures in three dimensions and prepare the models for visualization and analysis. The visualization and analysis occurs in ICT’s Aerial Terrain Line of sight Analysis System, or ATLAS. In ATLAS, users can visualize sight-lines and plan tactical movements on and around reconstructed structures.

This addresses an enduring Army challenge. Terrain remains one of, if not the most, pressing challenge when it comes to training, preparing and planning for all aspects of combined arms operations.

The UAS-to-3-D-model pipeline used at LA Coliseum gives Army units the ability to launch organic UAS assets on automated imagery acquisition flights and use the acquired imagery to reconstruct the terrain of their areas of interest. It provides leaders a georeferenced, up-to-date, high detail (5cm or better) 3-D model that can be used for mission rehearsal, simulation and situational awareness.

The RAPTRS pipeline is user-friendly and more cost-effective than many terrain capture methods. If Soldiers need to train in an area with insufficient or outdated geospatial data, they can rapidly collect and create or update terrain models.

ICT’s research and the next-generation process used at the Coliseum is one of several ways the Army can regain terrain/geospatial overmatch and reduce cost and time for creating geo-specific datasets for modeling and simulation.