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Small vessels or unmanned surface vehicles only have a limited amount of space and energy available. If these vessels require an active sensing collision avoidance system it is often not possible to mount large sensor systems like X-Band radars. Thus, in this paper an energy efficient automotive radar and a laser range sensor are evaluated for tracking surrounding vessels. For these targets, those type of sensors typically generate more than one detection per scan. Therefore, an extended target tracking problem has to be solved to estimate state end extension of the vessels. In this paper, an extended version of the probabilistic data association filter that uses random matrices is applied. The performance of the tracking system using either radar or laser range data is demonstrated in real experiments.

Probabilistic data association for tracking extended targets under clutter using random matrices
(2015)

The use of random matrices for tracking extended objects has received high attention in recent years. It is an efficient approach for tracking objects that give rise to more than one measurement per time step. In this paper, the concept of random matrices is used to track surface vessels using highresolution automotive radar sensors. Since the radar also receives a large number of clutter measurements from the water, for the data association problem, a generalized probabilistic data association filter is applied. Additionally, a modification of the filter update step is proposed to incorporate the Doppler velocity measurements. The presented tracking algorithm is validated using Monte Carlo Simulation, and some performance results with real radar data are shown as well.

In this paper, utilisation of an Unscented Kalman Filter for concurrently performing disturbance estimation and wave filtering is investigated. Experimental results are provided that demonstrate very good performance subject to both tasks. For the filter, a dynamic model has been used which was optimised via correlation analysis in order to obtain a minimum set of relevant parameters. This model has also been validated by experiments deploying a small vessel. A simulation study is presented to evaluate the performance using known quantities. Experimental trials have been performed on the Rhine river. The results show that for instance flow direction and varying current velocities can continuously be estimated with decent precision, even while the boat is performing turning manoeuvres. Moreover, the filtering properties are very satisfactory. This makes the filter suitable for being used, for instance, in autonomous vessel applications or assistance systems.

Autonomous moving systems require very detailed information about their environment and potential colliding objects. Thus, the systems are equipped with high resolution sensors. These sensors have the property to generate more than one detection per object per time step. This results in an additional complexity for the target tracking algorithm, since standard tracking filters assume that an object generates at most one detection per object. This requires new methods for data association and system state filtering.
As new data association methods, in this thesis two different extensions of the Joint Integrated Probabilistic Data Association (JIPDA) filter to assign more than one detection to tracks are proposed.
The first method that is introduced, is a generalization of the JIPDA to assign a variable number of measurements to each track based on some predefined statistical models, which will be called Multi Detection - Joint Integrated Probabilistic Data Association (MD-JIPDA).
Since this scheme suffers from exponential increase of association hypotheses, also a new approximation scheme is presented. The second method is an extension for the special case, when the number and locations of measurements are a priori known. In preparation of this method, a new notation and computation scheme for the standard Joint Integrated Data Association is outlined, which also enables the derivation of a new fast approximation scheme called balanced permanent-JIPDA.
For state filtering, also two different concepts are applied: the Random Matrix Framework and the Measurement Generating Points. For the Random Matrix framework, first an alternative prediction method is proposed to account for kinematic state changes in the extension state prediction as well. Secondly, various update methods are investigated to account for the polar to Cartesian noise transformation problem. The filtering concepts are connected with the new MD-JIPDA and their characteristics analyzed with various Monte Carlo simulations.
In case an object can be modeled by a finite number of fixed Measurement Generating Points (MGP), also a proposition to track these object via a JIPDA filter is made. In this context, a fast Track-to-Track fusion algorithm is proposed as well and compared against the MGP-JIPDA.
The proposed algorithms are evaluated in two applications where scanning is done using radar sensors only. The first application is a typical automotive scenario, where a passenger car is equipped with six radar sensors to cover its complete environment.
In this application, the location of the measurements on an object can be considered stationary and that is has a rectangular shape. Thus, the MGP based algorithms are applied here. The filters are evaluated by tracking especially vehicles on nearside lanes.
The second application covers the tracking of vessels on inland waters. Here, two different kind of Radar systems are applied, but for both sensors a uniform distribution of the measurements over the target's extent can be assumed. Further, the assumption that the targets have elliptical shape holds, and so the Random Matrix Framework in combination with the MD-JIPDA is evaluated.
Exemplary test scenarios also illustrate the performance of this tracking algorithm.

In extended object tracking, a target is capable to generate more than one measurement per scan. Assuming the target being of elliptical shape and given a point cloud of measurements, the Random Matrix Framework can be applied to concurrently estimate the target’s dynamic state and extension. If the point cloud contains also clutter measurements or origins from more than one target, the data association problem has to be solved as well. However, the well-known joint probabilistic data association method assumes that a target can generate at most one detection. In this article, this constraint is relaxed, and a multi-detection version of the joint integrated probabilistic data association is proposed. The data association method is then combined with the Random Matrix framework to track targets with elliptical shape. The final filter is evaluated in the context of tracking smaller vessels using a high resolution radar sensor. The performance of the filter is shown in simulation and in several experiments.