Advanced Autonomous Target Acquisition (ATA) and Track Algorithms

Period of Performance: 12/16/2003 - 06/15/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Coherent Technologies, Inc.
135 S. Taylor Avenue,
Louisville, CO 80027
Principal Investigator


CTI proposes an algorithm suite/design approach to improve speed, accuracy, and reliability of missile hardbody acquisition, track maintenance, and classification/identification efficiency. Various multiband passive IR, visible, and UV approaches, and now, visible and IR ladar approaches, are being considered for Forward Based sensors for boost-phase missile defense. The algorithm suite/hardware proposed by CTI is applicable to all types of sensors being considered, e.g., UV, passive/active visible and IR. Conventional plume tracking is used in each waveband to estimate important features and actual hardbody location. However, additional proprietary spatial processing uses radiance-data to further minimize hardbody uncertainty volumes. Image anisotropy corrections then further improve estimation, i.e., reducing deleterious impact of enhancement regions. These estimates are supplied to a batch-initialized, multiple hypothesis extended kalman tracking filter, for temporal processing. If more than one sensor is present in the suite, multiple results are fused in the multiple hypothesis stage of track filtering, The processing will be designed for speed, and is intrinsically parallel.. It will be demonstrated with a MATLAB thread containing the spatial component of the hardbody algorithm, and the enhancement correction. It therefore facilitates testing over necessarily diverse geometries, and numerous backgrounds and viewing conditions, using synthetic plume signatures. These signatures will be generated by GFE Radiation models from launch to burnout. Hardbody signatures must be generated by CTI's standardized signature codes to accommodate fully coherent ladars. : Sensors imaging through obscuring media, having features caused by embedded radiation/disturbance sources, e.g., harsh environment diagnostic testing, ship tracking via wakes, aircraft tracking via exhaust effluent plumes/contrails, with or without clouds at long ranges.