Press Release

NASA Grants New Imaging Software Patent and Copyright License

By SpaceRef Editor
June 22, 2004
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NASA has granted an exclusive patent and copyright license agreement for three imaging software technologies for application in commercial markets.

The software programs Fuzzy Reasoning Edge Detection (FRED), Fuzzy Reasoning Adaptive Threshold (FRAT), and Image Processing for Binarization Enhancement Via Fuzzy Reasoning were developed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The FRED system imitates the capability of humans to approximate solutions, and is used to detect edges in noisy, cluttered images and track unfamiliar objects in video and film. FRED is used to track foreign object debris in launch videos and was a key component of the analysis in the investigation of the Space Shuttle Columbia.

The FRAT system transforms faded, textured, gray-scale images such as faded signatures, weathered documents, and surveillance video into clearer, readable images. It is faster and more reliable than most imaging software. NASA also uses FRAT to track debris during launch, and the system provided information that was critical to the Columbia investigation.

Image Processing for Binarization Enhancement Via Fuzzy Reasoning is an image-enhancement technique that utilizes fuzzy, ruled-based reasoning to allow FRAT to handle the uncertainty, imprecision and incompleteness naturally involved in the binarization of gray-scaled color images. The system is used to clarify smaller video images, such as identifying a small logo on a person’s shirt from a surveillance camera image.

NASA signed an agreement for use of the programs with Intergraph Solutions of Madison, Ala.

Intergraph, a leader in the business of designing and producing high-end graphics systems for more than 30 years, will use the programs to enhance the performance of its current systems.

The technologies are expected to provide significant benefits in the identification of textual information in forensic videos used in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance markets.

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SpaceRef staff editor.