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Special Issue, August 2005, pp. 374-380




Track-Before Detect Methods in Tracking Low-Observable Targets: A Survey





1McGill University, Centre for Intelligent Machines, 3480 University St., Montréal, QC, H3A 2A7, Canada, Phone: +1-514-398-8201, Fax: +1-514-398-7348

E-mail: melita@cim.mcgill.ca, michalsk@cim.mcgill.ca

2R&D, Lockheed Martin Canada, 6111 Royalmount Av., Montréal, QC, H4P 1K6, Canada, Phone: +1-514-340-8310 #8715, E-mail: eric.lefebvre@lmco.com


Received: 12 July 2005    Accepted: 12 August 2005   Published: 17 August 2005



Abstract: In detection and target tracking applications, low-observable targets are defined as those that deliver measurements for which the sensor responses have a value of SNR lower than 10dB. Tracking of low-observable targets is best performed employing the approaches known as track-before-detect (TBD). The proper TBD approaches combine signal processing and tracking so that detection and track confirmation occur simultaneously. The thresholding process, in which the observations are produced, is avoided so as to preserve the weak signal information in the raw sensor data. Although a variety of TBD methods have been presented and discussed in the literature, no comprehensive and comparative study of those is yet available. This paper delivers such a discussion with the goal of facilitating proper selection of methods in the context of concrete applications.


Keywords: track-before-detect, target tracking, detection


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