Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Scott L. Nykl, PhD


Current research efforts for Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR) at The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) utilize Stereo Computer Vision to compute a relative pose between a tanker and receiver aircraft. Due to costs, time, and availability, it can be onerous to test these algorithms using actual Air Force (AF) aircraft. Our solution to this problem consists of using a 3D Graphics Engine to simulate AAR endeavors. However, the question then arises, “Does the virtual world accurately represent the physical world?” This can be explored by comparing a set of truth data to a similar set of virtual data. First, a set of truth data is collected using physical aircraft. Next, using the same flight path as that of the truth data, a set of virtual data is collected. Finally, a comparison of the physical and virtual data can provide information regarding how well the virtual world accurately represents the physical world, and if so, to within what margin of error? The results show that the virtual world roughly approximates the physical world but performs 2-6x better on average.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number