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This paper outlines a technique to represent terrain using tree structures, based on Morton
ordering to avoid the use of pointers. This approach enables terrain data to be organised in
a hierarchical form affording a trade-off between the speed of access to the terrain database
and resolution of the terrain data extracted from the tree. A set of database access algorithms
is developed that form the basis of path extraction needed for real-time mission management.
Several examples are presented to illustrate the performance of the routeing algorithms
developed in the paper.
This paper describes the use of oct-trees to represent digitised terrain elevation data (DTED) in terrain reference navigation (TRN) systems. Oct-trees provide a regular method to represent digitised terrain data where the level of detail of the terrain is encoded in the tree structure. The use of oct-trees also provides a basis for a significant reduction in the on-line storage requirement for DT-EDs. A method of encoding using Morton ordering is introduced which allows DTEDs to be accessed as oct-trees and quad-trees where the tree structures are represented as pointerless structures. Algorithms to construct and access terrain oct-trees are presented which form a set of access primitives for tree operations required in TRN applications. The paper concludes with examples to illustrate the efficiency of the methods described in the paper for two DTEDs, in terms of performance of the tree access operations and reductions in storage.
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