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Proceedings Paper

Knowledge-based tracking algorithm
Author(s): Allan F. Corbeil
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the Knowledge-Based Tracking (KBT) algorithm for which a real-time flight test demonstration was recently conducted at Rome Air Development Center (RADC). In KBT processing, the radar signal in each resolution cell is thresholded at a lower than normal setting to detect low RCS targets. This lower threshold produces a larger than normal false alarm rate. Therefore, additional signal processing including spectral filtering, CFAR and knowledge-based acceptance testing are performed to eliminate some of the false alarms. TSC's knowledge-based Track-Before-Detect (TBD) algorithm is then applied to the data from each azimuth sector to detect target tracks. In this algorithm, tentative track templates are formed for each threshold crossing and knowledge-based association rules are applied to the range, Doppler, and azimuth measurements from successive scans. Lastly, an M-association out of N-scan rule is used to declare a detection. This scan-to-scan integration enhances the probability of target detection while maintaining an acceptably low output false alarm rate. For a real-time demonstration of the KBT algorithm, the L-band radar in the Surveillance Laboratory (SL) at RADC was used to illuminate a small Cessna 310 test aircraft. The received radar signal wa digitized and processed by a ST-100 Array Processor and VAX computer network in the lab. The ST-100 performed all of the radar signal processing functions, including Moving Target Indicator (MTI) pulse cancelling, FFT Doppler filtering, and CFAR detection. The VAX computers performed the remaining range-Doppler clustering, beamsplitting and TBD processing functions. The KBT algorithm provided a 9.5 dB improvement relative to single scan performance with a nominal real time delay of less than one second between illumination and display.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1990
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Proc. SPIE 1305, Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 1990, (1 October 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.2321759
Show Author Affiliations
Allan F. Corbeil, Technology Service Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1305:
Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 1990
Oliver E. Drummond, Editor(s)

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