Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Moorhead, Robert J.

Committee Member

To, Filip Suminto D.

Committee Member

Fowler, James E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Flight data recorders (FDRs) play a critical role in determining root causes of aviation mishaps. Some aircraft record limited amounts of information during flight (e.g. T-1A Jayhawk), while others have no FDR on board (B-52 Stratofortress). This study explores the use of image-based flight data acquisition to overcome a lack of available digitally-recorded FDR data. In this work, images of cockpit gauges were unwrapped vertically, and 2-D cross-correlation was performed on each image of the unwrapped gauge versus a template of the unwrapped gauge needle. Points of high correlation between the unwrapped gauge and needle template were used to locate the gauge needle, and interpolation and extrapolation were performed (based on locations of gauge tick marks) to quantify the value to which the gauge needle pointed. Results suggest that image-based flight data acquisition could provide key support to mishap investigations when aircraft lack sufficient FDR data.