Accurately associating sensor kinematic reports to known tracks, new tracks, or clutter is one of the greatest obstacles to effective track estimation. Feature-aiding is one technology that is emerging to address this problem, and it is expected that adding target features will aid report association by enhancing track accuracy and lengthening track life. The Sensor's Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory is sponsoring a challenge problem called Feature-Aided Tracking of Stop-move Objects (FATSO). The long-range goal of this research is to provide a full suite of public data and software to encourage researchers from government, industry, and academia to participate in radar-based feature-aided tracking research. The FATSO program is currently releasing a vehicle database coupled to a radar signature generator. The completed FATSO system will incorporate this database/generator into a Monte Carlo simulation environment for evaluating multiplatform/multitarget tracking scenarios. The currently released data and software contains the following: eight target models, including a tank, ammo hauler, and self-propelled artillery vehicles; and a radar signature generator capable of producing SAR and HRR signatures of all eight modeled targets in almost any configuration or articulation. In addition, the signature generator creates Z-buffer data, label map data, and radar cross-section prediction and allows the user to add noise to an image while varying sensor-target geometry (roll, pitch, yaw, squint). Future capabilities of this signature generator, such as scene models and EO signatures as well as details of the complete FATSO testbed, are outlined.
Many years of tracking research have shown that the greatest obstacle to effective track estimation is accurately associating sensor kinematic reports to known tracks, new tracks, or clutter. Errors in report association occur more frequently under increasingly stressful conditions, like closely-spaced targets and low measurement rates, which can lead to unstable and even divergent tracking performance. It is widely expected that adding target features will aid report association and result in enhanced track accuracy and lengthened track life. Although sensors can provide features to enhance association, progress in implementing feature aiding has been slowed by the lack of data and tools that could assist exploration and algorithm development. To encourage research in this important discipline, the Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/SN) is sponsoring a challenge problem called Feature-Aided Tracking of Stop-move Objects (FATSO). FATSO's long-range goal is to provide a full suite of public data and software to promote explorations into viable methods of feature aiding. This paper introduces the FATSO project, focusing on an upcoming release that will contain data from a diverse target set and predictor software for generating radar signatures.