The Simultaneous Availability of Competing Contacts


  1. Peters, D.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
Algorithms for making association decisions in data fusion systems assume the simultaneous availability of the contacts that compete with each other for association with any given track. A data fusion system that processes all contacts on arrival is flawed, in principle, for it assumes that potentially competing contacts will always be sent in the same message by the data source in question. This assumption leads to errors in association that would not otherwise arise. Such errors have been observed in the COMDAT TD project, thus motivating a more detailed examination of the incidence of such errors. An experiment was conducted, using simulated aerial tracks and simulated radar contacts, to examine the effects of the fragmentation of contacts (that is, the distribution of contacts among separate messages) on the performance of a single-scan data association algorithm. The odds of correct association are significantly degraded, by more than a factor of two, by highly fragmented data. However, a milder degree of fragmentation, roughly representative of the tracking radar of a HALIFAX class frigate, causes a much milder degradation in the odds of correct association. These results do not lead to any recommended changes to the COMDAT system. However, the fragmentation of contacts must be considered, in general, in the design of any automated data fusion system.

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Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2005-260 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2005
Number of Pages

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