Video Image Stabilization and Registration (VISAR)

Inducted In: 2001, Computer Technology

Induction year:
Inducted individuals:
Mike Garner
Gene Grindstaff
Dr. David Hathaway
Alexander Kolesov
Thermon (Trey) McKay III
Paul Meyer
Sammy Nabors
Jody Page
Tom Spilsbury
Inducted organizations:
BarcoView, Inc.
Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
Intergraph Government Solutions
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Dr. David Hathaway and Paul Meyer of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center have worked on several criminal cases with the police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hathaway, a solar physicist is usually busy studying images of violent explosions on the Sun and Meyer, an atmospheric scientist, examines hazardous weather conditions on Earth. The scientist’s foray into the world of forensics began when they helped the FBI analyze video of the bombing at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta. Hathaway and Meyer successfully clarified videotape images made with handheld camcorders, revealing important details about the bomb and the explosion.

The NASA researchers – using their expertise and equipment for analyzing satellite video – created a new technology that can dramatically improve images including crime scene videos. Dark jittery images captured by home video, security systems and video cameras in police cars are turned in to clearer, stable images that reveal clues about crimes. In addition to removing noise or “snow” from videos, the technology also corrects for horizontal and vertical camera motion, as well as rotation and zoom effects. It produces clearer images of moving objects, smoothes jagged edges and enhances still images. Since their first case with the FBI, Hathaway and Meyer have worked over the years to refine the VISAR technology, improving it so that it could be transfered to companies that produce video enhancement systems for law enforcement, military and even home computers.

Intergraph Government Systems licensed the VISAR software and has used it to produce a graphic analyzer product for the law enforcement sector. BarcoView has a license from NASA for hardware applications of VISAR. Incorporation of their commercial technology into various products will enable real-time applications of video stabilization. For example, it could be incorporated into video cameras to reduce or even eliminate jiggle and also to enhance viewing of single frames.

Related Technologies

Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifier

Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifier

Inducted In: Communications Technology, Computer Technology, Featured

First developed in the 1930s, Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs) were designed to amplify radio frequency signals. It was in the early 1960s that NASA and L3 teamed up to evolve the technology so it would meet the transmission needs of…

NASA Structural Analysis Computer Software

NASA Structural Analysis Computer Software

Inducted In: Computer Technology

In the early years of the space program, it took thousands of man-hours and months to analyze and solve structural problems in the design of aircraft and space vehicles using conventional mathematical methods. Today designers and engineers are able to…

Active Pixel Sensor

Active Pixel Sensor

Inducted In: Computer Technology, Featured

Since the 1970's when charged coupled devices (CCD's) were first developed, camera and video companies have been seeking to improve the technology. CCD's provide good image quality, but they are expensive, power hungry, and with the required accessory chips, bulky.…