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Proceedings Paper

Characteristics of the acquisition of a dim target in clutter
Author(s): Oliver E. Drummond
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Paper Abstract

Target acquisition is fairly straight forward when tracking a single bright target. A dim target in clutter on the other hand can present some challenges in target acquisition. The characteristics of detecting a target under typical conditions are fairly well understood. For example, one way to characterize signal detection is by constructing the receiver operating curve. By contrast, the characteristics of acquisition of a dim target in persistent background clutter can be very different from signal detection. For example, an acquisition can be a false acquisition even with the target in the field of view. A false acquisition is typically based on clutter points or false signals rather than the target. Given a target of interest in the field of view, the indicated false acquisition can be far from the location of the true target. The term acquisition used in this context is not the same as signal or target detection. In this sense, acquisition requires making the distinction between a detection or sequence of detections caused by a target versus that caused by false signals and persistent clutter. This paper presents an analysis of the differences between the characteristics of detection and acquisition. Analysis and understanding the characteristics of target acquisition are important for undertaking the specification, design or performance evaluation of a sensor system. To limit the scope to within the page limits, this paper concentrates on acquisition of a single, small, dim target with false signals and persistent background clutter (possibly moving) in the field of view.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 June 1996
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 2742, Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation II, (17 June 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.242998
Show Author Affiliations
Oliver E. Drummond, Consulting Engineer (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2742:
Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation II
Wendell R. Watkins; Dieter Clement, Editor(s)

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