Title page for ETD etd-03022010-020305

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Gholson, Norman Hamilton
URN etd-03022010-020305
Title Tracking maneuvering targets via semi-Markov maneuver modeling.
Degree PhD
Department Electrical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Moose, Richard L. Committee Chair
Bechert, T. E. Committee Member
Nachlas, Joel A. Committee Member
Thompson, R. A. Committee Member
VanLandingham, Hugh F. Committee Member
  • Markov processes
Date of Defense 1977-02-05
Availability restricted

Adaptive algorithms for state estimation are currently of tremendous interest. Such estimation techniques have particular military usefulness in automatic gunfire control systems. The conventional Kalman filter, developed by Kalman and Bucy, optimally solves the state estimation problem concerning linear systems with Gaussian disturbance and error processes. The maneuvering target tracking problem generally involves nonlinear system properties as well as non-Gaussian disturbance processes. The study presented here explores several solutions. to this problem.

An adaptive state estimator centered about the familiar Kalman filter has been developed for applications in three-dimensional maneuvering target tracking. Target maneuvers are modeled in a general manner by a semi-Markov process. The semi-Markov modeling is based on very intuitively appealing assumptions. Specifically, target maneuvers are randomly selected from a range (possibly infinite) of maneuver commands. The selected command is sustained for a random holding time before another command is selected. Dynamics of the selection and holding process may be stationary or time varying. By incorporating the semi-Markov modeling into a Baysian estimation scheme, an adaptive state estimator can be designed to identify the particular maneuver command influencing the target. The algorithm has the distinct advantages of requiring only one Kalman filter and non-growing computer storage requirements.

Several techniques of implementing the adaptive algorithm have been developed. The merits of rectangular and spherical modeling have been explored. Most importantly, the planar discrete level semi-Markov algorithm, originally developed for sonar applications, has been extended to a continuum of levels, as well as extended to three-dimensional tracking.

The developed algorithms have been fully evaluated by computer simulations. Emphasis has been placed on computational burden as well as overall tracking performance. Results are presented that show.that the developed estimators largely eliminate severe tracking errors that occur when more simplistic target models are incorporated.

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