Flight simulators are devices in which air crews can be trained without the use of actual aircraft. Potentially dangerous maneuvers, such as air-to-air refueling, and destructive exercises, such as evasive action from weaponry or aerial dogfights, can be practiced repeatedly with no risk to pilot or crew. Flight simulators are cost effective since the fuel costs associated with training pilots in actual aircraft can be excessive. Flight simulators offer an alternate training method with reduced cost. The task of a visual flight simulator is to present the trainee with scenes representative of those that would be seen if the actual mission being trained for were flown. Scenes produced by a Computer Image Generation device must be of sufficient content, fidelity, resolution, brightness and field of view to allow the trainees to improve their skills. If one of these factors falls below the threshold of acceptability, the training value of the device is diminished, if not lost altogether. One of the most challenging problems in Computer Image Generation is the removal of hidden parts from images of solid objects. In real life, the opaque material of these objects obstructs the light rays from hidden parts and prevents us from seeing them. In the computer generation of an image no such automatic elimination takes place. Instead, all parts of every object, including parts that should be hidden are displayed. In order to remove these parts and create a more realistic image, a hidden-line or hidden-surface algorithm must be applied to the set of objects. When more than a single object is in the scene another problem arises; which of the objects block the view of the others. This is an occultation problem. This paper presents a “separation plane” priority algorithm used in Computer Image Generation to solve this occultation problem. The algorithm uses a binary search technique to generate a “listable set”; a set of planes that yield proper object priority for any viewpoint in the data base.


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Graduation Date





Bauer, Christian S.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering




72 p.




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Masters Thesis (Open Access)



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Engineering Commons