MULTI-TARGET TRACKING AND IDENTITY MANAGEMENT USING MULTIPLE MOBILE SENSORS
Due to their rapid technological advancement, mobile sensors such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are seeing growing application in the area of multi-target tracking and identity management (MTIM). For efficient and sustainable performance of a MTIM system with mobile sensors, proper algorithms are needed to both effectively estimate the states/identities of targets from sensing data and optimally guide the mobile sensors based on the target estimates. One major challenge in MTIM is that a target may be temporarily lost due to line-of-sight breaks or corrupted sensing data in cluttered environments. It is desired that these targets are kept tracking and identification, especially when they reappear after the temporary loss of detection. Another challenging task in MTIM is to correctly track and identify targets during track coalescence, where multiple targets get close to each other and could be hardly distinguishable. In addition, while the number of targets in the sensors’ surveillance region is usually unknown and time-varying in practice, many existing MTIM algorithms assume their number of targets to be known and constant, thus those algorithms could not be directly applied to real scenarios.
In this research, a set of solutions is developed to address three particular issues in MTIM that involves the above challenges: 1) using a single mobile sensor with a limited sensing range to track multiple targets, where the targets may occasionally lose detection; 2) using a network of mobile sensors to actively seek and identify targets to improve the accuracy of multi-target identity management; and 3) tracking and managing the identities of an unknown and time-varying number of targets in clutter.