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Proceedings Paper

Tracking dim targets using integrated clutter estimation
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Paper Abstract

In this paper we address the problem of detecting and tracking a single dim target in unknown background noise. Several methodologies have been developed for this problem, including track-before-detect (TBD) methods which work directly on unthresholded sensor data. The utilization of unthresholded data is essential when signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is low, since the target amplitude may never be strong enough to exceed any reasonable threshold. Several problems arise when working with unthresholded data. Blurring and non-Gaussian noise can easily lead to very complicated likelihood expressions. The background noise also needs to be estimated. This estimate is a random variable due to the random nature of the background noise. We propose a recursive TBD method which estimates the background noise as part of its likelihood evaluation. The background noise is estimated by averaging over nearby sensor cells not affected by the target. The uncertainty of this estimate is taken into account by the likelihood evaluation, thereby yielding a more robust TBD method. The method is implemented using sequential Monte Carlo evaluation of the optimal Bayes equations, also known as particle filtering. Simulation results show how our method allows detection and tracking to be carried out in an uncertain environment where current recursive TBD methods fail.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6699, Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 2007, 669905 (21 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734296
Show Author Affiliations
Edmund F. Brekke, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology (Norway)
Thiagalingam Kirubarajan, McMaster Univ. (Canada)
Ratnasingham Tharmarasa, McMaster Univ. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6699:
Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 2007
Oliver E. Drummond; Richard D. Teichgraeber, Editor(s)

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