Flatlanders in Space: Three-Dimensional Transformations of Two-Dimensional Data


  1. Peters, D.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
Tactical picture compilation requires comparisons to be made among contacts and tracks, in a common coordinate system. Coordinate transformations are often necessary. In many cases, only two dimensions are acknowledged in the kinematic data contained within a contact or a track. In order to perform a three-dimensional coordinate transformation of such data, assumptions must be made about the behaviour of the alleged target with respect to the missing dimension. A new method is presented whereby a track or a contact whose kinematics are given in horizontal Cartesian coordinates with respect to a point on the surface of the earth can be transformed to another such coordinate system. This new method obeys, within certain limits, a basic criterion for consistency: that the result of a series of transformations should not depend on the location of the origin of any of the intermediate coordinate systems. A new method is also presented for transforming into Cartesian coordinates a contact whose range and bearing are given, but whose elevation angle is missing. The degree to which the kinematic error of the original data increases as a result of a transformation is considered. Each of the new methods is superior to the simple method that follows from the assumption that the target is confined to the horizontal plane.

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Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2005-259 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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