Sierra Nevada has been granted a patent for an imaging system that combines pre-existing data with sensor data to provide real-time images of the surrounding environment for moving vehicles. The system uses 3-D sensors, a camera, and pre-existing scene data to create a scene model that is rendered for display. The system also allows for the weighting of data from different sensors to select specific aspects for fusion. GlobalData’s report on Sierra Nevada gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Sierra Nevada, IoT network security was a key innovation area identified from patents. Sierra Nevada's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Imaging system for real-time scene modeling in moving vehicles

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Sierra Nevada Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11682314B2) describes an imaging system designed for use in a moving vehicle to generate a real-time synthetic image of the vehicle's surroundings. The system consists of multiple data sources, including a first source providing scene data with a priori terrain and obstacle information, a second source providing a 3-D data cloud derived from real-time terrain and obstacle data, and a third source providing real-time video image data with terrain and obstacle images.

The system includes a scene fusion module that combines the a priori terrain and obstacle data, the 3-D data cloud, and the real-time video image data to create a real-time, multi-resolution 3-D scene model. This model is then processed by an image rendering module to produce an image signal representing the scene model. A visual display is used to present a virtual view of the vehicle's environment based on the image signal.

The scene fusion module is configured to receive and validate data points from the different data sources, creating an updated scene data point set. Only data points that meet a predetermined validity criterion are used to create the updated scene data point set. The first data source includes a database with a priori terrain and obstacle data, while the second data source includes a real-time 3-D environmental sensor and the third data source includes a camera. The scene fusion module combines the different data structures from these sources.

The system also supports the inclusion of navigation data in the scene data structures. The second data source can include multiple real-time 3-D environmental sensors, and the scene fusion module is capable of replacing aspects of one sensor's data with corresponding aspects from another sensor's data. The quality of the different data structures can be compared to determine which data to use.

Overall, this patent describes an imaging system that combines a priori data, real-time sensor data, and video image data to generate a real-time, multi-resolution 3-D scene model for display in a moving vehicle. The system's ability to validate and update data points from different sources allows for accurate and up-to-date representation of the vehicle's surroundings.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.