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FAA Airport GIS Project Started in Collaboration with San Diego State University


USRA RIACS Teamed with San Diego State University to research the use of satellite stereoscopic imagery for more effective airport planning. The project team will evaluate the utility of commercial high spatial resolution stereo satellite imagery for generating GIS databases representing airport features that meet the FAA's standards. The project will result in revisions to FAA Advisor Circulars 150/5300-17B, (General Guidance and Specifications for Aeronautical Survey Airport Imagery Acquisition and Submission to the National Geodetic Survey) and AC 150/5300-18B (General Guidance and Specifications for Submission of Aeronautical Surveys to NGS: Field Data Collection and Geographic Information System (GIS) Standards). The team will identify the capabilities of each stereo image product (and associated three-dimensional viewing and mapping software and hardware) in conjunction with the feature class accuracies as specified in the AC 18B. The project will identify the strengths and weaknesses of stereo satellite imagery in conjunction with each of the survey requirements and feature class accuracies and obtainable attributes. The project will define the data acquisition methodologies, minimum equipment to be used to meet the accuracy requirement, and the post-processing technique(s)/methodology recommended for the submission of the data to the Airports GIS program.

The project has three primary objectives:

1) assess the utility of stereo satellite imagery having 0.5 m spatial resolution for identifying airport feature classes and attributes,

2) determine the positional accuracy of airport features identified from stereo satellite imagery, and

3) assess the accuracy and precision of ground elevations and heights of airport obstructions and other airport features measured from stereo satellite imagery.

The individual products include panchromatic and pansharpened imagery at 0.5 m spatial resolution. The individual products also have varying horizontal and vertical accuracy specifications. Half meter imagery will be used to assess the utility of the imagery for identifying airport feature classes and attributes. Horizontal and vertical measurement accuracies will be assessed for each product (based upon FAA supplied reference data), and SDSU will verify that the measured accuracy values are within specifications for the individual products.

This work has significant extensibility to airports throughout the United States to ensure the right tools are in place to imbed safety in the airport planning process.



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