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Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1979)

Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

May 12, 2004
RELEASE : 04-156
NASA Grants Two New Imaging Software Patents
NASA has granted two nonexclusive patent license agreements for imaging software technologies for application in commercial markets.

The software programs Fuzzy Reasoning Edge Detection (FRED); Fuzzy Reasoning Adaptive Thresholding (FRAT); and Pose Invariant Pattern Recognition (PIPR) were developed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

FRED is used to detect edges in noisy images and track unfamiliar objects in video and film. FRED is also used to track foreign object debris in launch videos and was a key component of the analysis in the investigation of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident.

The FRAT system transforms faded images into clearer, readable ones. It is faster and more reliable than most imaging software. NASA also uses FRAT to track debris during launch, information that was critical to the Columbia investigation.

The PIPR software program is used to search through large amounts of data to determine links and patterns. The software also investigates what has already occurred and can predict what will occur. PIPR requires no advance knowledge of the characteristics of images to be analyzed and provides an explicit indicator-of-match.

NASA signed an agreement with Barton Medical Imaging, New Haven, Conn., for the software programs FRED, FRAT, and PIPR. Barton, a small high-tech company, plans on using the programs to enhance the performance, processing time and range of applications in their medical imaging systems.

An agreement was also signed with Zeus Technologies, Celebration, Fla., for the FRED and FRAT programs. Zeus will use the programs in the development of medical imaging devices that will assist in the real-time evaluation and classification of masses present in the images.

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