This dissertation lays out a multi-static radar system with mobile receivers. The transmitter is at a known location emitting a radar signal that bounces off a target. The echo is received by a team of UAVs that are capable of estimating both time-delay and Doppler from the received signal. Several methods for controlling the movement of mobile sensor platforms are presented to improve target tracking performance. Two optimization criteria are derived for the problem, both of which require some type of search procedure to find the desired solution. Simulations are used to show the benefit of using closed-loop sensor control for the special case of an EKF tracking filter. In addition, a simpler closed-form approach based on one of the algorithms is also presented and is shown to have performance similar to that obtained using the optimal algorithms. To decentralize the estimation in the UAV network, an information consensus filter (ICF) is presented. In the ICF each agent maintains a local estimate, which is shown to be unbiased and conservative with respect to the local covariance matrix estimate. The ICF does not take into account unknown track-to-track correlation that occurs when local independent estimates pass through a common process model. However, it does eliminate the redundancy incurred when communicating information through general network topologies, including graphs containing loops. In the ICF a discrete-time consensus filter is used to handle the communication of information between nodes (UAVs) in the network. Communication is local in that each agent can only communicate with local neighbors and not the entire network. A second-order discrete-time consensus protocol is developed. Necessary and sufficient conditions are given that ensure the team of agents achieves consensus using the second-order protocol. Using insights from the analysis of the ICF an extension is made by adding an observation buffer to the ICF. The new filter is called the information consensus filter with an observation buffer (ICFOB). The track-to-track correlation occurring from independent estimates passing through a common process model does not affect the ICFOB as it does other decentralized estimation methods. The ICFOB is shown to be equivalent to a centralized filter that has access to every measurement in a network. There are two caveats to this equivalency. First, at any point in time, the prior ICFOB estimate is equal to the prior centralized filter estimate found by fusing the observations that are taken before those stored in the buffer. The a posteriori estimates using observations in the buffer are not equal to estimates from the centralized filter since the agents have not finished disseminating those observations throughout the sensor network. Second, the ICFOB needs to know the number of active sensors in the network. The number of sensors is global information; therefore, the ICFOB is not fully decentralized. If the number of sensors is not known, the local estimates are conservative.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





consensus, information filter, Kalman filter, decentralized estimation, distributed estimation, UAV, sensor network, graph theory, multi-static radar, target tracking