Weather forecasting, battlefield assessment, target classification and tracking, traffic and transportation management - these are but a few of the many civilian and defense applications that are performed using sensor and data fusion. Effectively optimizing the size, cost, design, and performance of the sensors and associated data processing systems requires a broad spectrum of knowledge. Sensor and data fusion practitioners generally have an understanding of (1) target and background signature-generation phenomena, (2) sensor design, (3) signal processing algorithms, (4) pertinent characteristics of the environment in which the sensors operate, (5) available communications types and bandwidths, and (6) end use of the fusion products.
This book discusses the above topics, with an emphasis on signature-generation phenomena to which electromagnetic sensors respond, atmospheric effects, sensor fusion architectures, and data fusion algorithms for target detection, classification, identification, and state estimation. The types of signatures and data collected by a sensor are related to the following:
The type of energy (e.g., electromagnetic, acoustic, ultrasonic, seismic) received by the sensor;
Active or passive sensor operation as influenced by center frequency, polarization, spectral band, and incidence angle;
Spatial resolution of the sensor versus target size;
Target and sensor motion;
Weather, clutter, and countermeasure effects.