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A real-time terrain database integrity monitor for synthetic vision systems (SVS) that are to be used in civil aviation is presented. SVS provides pilots with advanced display technology including terrain information as well as other information about the external environment such as obstacles and traffic. The use of SVS to support strategic and tactical decision-making and the compelling nature of the terrain depiction may require terrain database server certification at the essential and flight-critical levels. SVS and terrain database characteristics are discussed and a failure model is identified. Real-time integrity monitors are proposed that check the consistency between terrain profiles described by the database and terrain profiles that are sensed in flight by either a downward-looking (DWL) sensor or a forward-looking (FWL) season A DWL sensor scheme is discussed in detail and it is shown that this scheme can provide the necessary integrity required for an essential certification of a terrain database server.