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Tracking Algorithms for Multistatic Sonar Systems


Activated reconnaissance systems based on target illumination are of high importance for surveillance tasks where targets are nonemitting. Multistatic configurations, where multiple illuminators and multiple receivers are located separately, are of particular interest. The fusion of measurements is a prerequisite for extracting and maintaining target tracks. The inherent ambiguity of the data makes the use of adequate algorithms, such as multiple hypothesis tracking, inevitable. For their design, the understanding of the residual clutter, the sensor resolution and the characteristic impact of the propagation medium is important. This leads to precise sensor models, which are able to determine the performance of the surveillance team. Incorporating these models in multihypothesis tracking leads to a situationally aware data fusion and tracking algorithm. Various implementations of this algorithm are evaluated with the help of simulated and measured data sets. Incorporating model knowledge leads to increased performance, but only if the model is in line with the physical reality: we need to find a compromise between refined and robust tracking models. Furthermore, to implement the model, which is inherently nonlinear for multistatic sonar, approximations have to be made. When engineering the multistatic tracking system, sensitivity studies help to tune model assumptions and approximations.

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Correspondence to Frank Ehlers.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Daun, M., Ehlers, F. Tracking Algorithms for Multistatic Sonar Systems. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2010, 461538 (2010).

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