Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Patricia Lawlis, PhD


This study investigated a method of storing, managing and rendering terrain data, while addressing conflicting goals of. rendering speed, display detail and memory usage. A data structure is presented to store terrain data, with an object oriented system to manage the data stored in the structure. The structure stores terrain data in a compact form which is converted into rendering structures in real time. The structure uses levels of detail to maintain display detail. The structure is compared against an existing format for storing terrain data, MultiGen Flight. The system managing the structure is shown to decrease memory usage and increase frame rate, while maintaining display detail. The structure offers features not attainable from Flight format, including: interpolating vertices to prevent cracking, defining levels of detail by altitude or speed, and betweening. The structure allows storing and rendering larger databases than previously manageable with Flight format.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



The author's Vita page is omitted.