The LISA-P Intelligent Vehicle Test Bed
To provide an adaptable experimental test bed for
evaluating the performance of various sensing modalities
and their combination, two test environments based upon
a Daimler-Chrysler S-class (LISA-M) test frame and a
Volkswagen Passat (LISA-P), were outfitted with a
computer and a multitude of cameras and acquisition
systems. Of principal importance in the hardware
specification and software architecture was the ability
to (1) capture and process data from all the sensor
subsystems simultaneously and (2) to provide facilities
for algorithm development and offline testing.
Thermal long-wavelength infrared camera is used to
capture scene response in the 7 to 14 um wavelength
range. The camera uses a 160x120 element amorphous
silicon focal plane array and lens that produces a 35x50
degree field of view. It requires no cooling. A
mechanism for correcting per pixel gain variation exists
in the form of a shutter that momentarily closes in
front of the focal plane array every few minutes to
perform this calibration. With a roughly four-fold
decrease in both size and price in the last two years,
we intend to test something representative of what may
be reasonably added to a passenger car in a few years
Real-time stereo camera system consists of three
black-and-white 640x480 element 1/3" CCD sensors mounted
with 3.8 mm focal length lenses in a common enclosure.
Integrated digitization, buffering circuitry and an IEEE
1394 interface allows transfer of video from all three
cameras to the host. This system is supplied with host
software that performs the correspondence calculation
and provides a disparity image. The nearest object that
can be seen by all cameras is roughly 30 cm from the
face of the enclosure, which is the reason for the
external placement of the camera.
Color cameras consist of four 1/3" CCD color NTSC
cameras. Each video stream is merged into a single frame
via a quad video signal combiner which also synchronizes
the capture of the four video streams.
Camera dome covers the camera set up above the roof
of the car.
The LISA-P is equipped with a 120V AC power distribution
system. This comprises a marine-type 1.0kW true sine
wave inverter, an auxiliary battery and appropriate
isolation circuitry. The availability of 120V AC avoids
the alternative of adapting equipment to the vehicle's
12V DC supplies, yielding an easier transition from
laboratory to vehicle.
The computing platform consists of a commercial Xeon PC
with a high throughput disk subsystem for streaming
video data. The subsystem consists of four, 15Krpm
Ultra320 SCSI disk drives in a RAID array that achieves
in excess of 220 MB/s sustained throughput. This data
rate allows for the capture of several simultaneous
high-resolution video streams.
The video capture hardware currently consists of a dual
CameraLink PCI-X capture board, an analog color RS-170
PCI capture board, and an IEEE 1394 PCI host controller.